Friday, September 26, 2008
Parshas Nitzavim - "The World Was Created For Me"
I was talking to the famous Ben Yeamans today and he brought something very interesting to my attention. He told me that the Sfas Emes says that if this Shabbos is observed correctly it is michaper for all other sins that have been done on previous Shabbosim.
QUICKIE/FUNFACT: Why does the Torah say that we are responsible to listen to all that G-D teaches TODAY? (30:2)
A: The Seforno answers that the word TODAY teaches that throughout all generations we must strive to perform mitzvot with a freshness and excitement as if they were given TODAY and never by rote.
* Courtesy of Rabbi Dov Lipman Shlit"a - www.rabbilipman.com
(Devarim 29:9) "Atem Nitzavim Hayom Kulchem....Rasheichem Shivteichem"
"You are standing today, all of you...the heads of your tribes..."
The literal translation of the words "Rasheichem" and "Shivteichem" is is your heads, your tribes. This seems to be a rather peculiar language when referring to our leaders. Surely there is more graceful terminology of our lay leaders?
Rav Moshe Feinstein Zt"L answers that it is forbidden for any person to denigrate himself by saying that because his talents are so minor, he cannot be a great man or leader; such humility is actually the evil inclination!
Rather, every man must develop the self esteem to realize that he, too, can be a leader of his generation, and so he must learn the Torah in its entirety and in great depth with all of his ability. If man does his part the Hashem will surely finish off mans plan by instating him as one of the greats.
If man chooses to belittle himself and says that he will never be great in Torah or at good deeds then as a slippery slope he will never learn Torah and nothing that he does will ever be suitable.
For this reason the Torah chooses to write, "your heads, your tribes" instead of saying "the heads of your tribes" to show us that everyone must hold themselves in the highest regard and that everyone is capable of leadership.
We must hold dear to ourselves the concept of "Bishvili Nivra HaOlam - The world was created for me" for without it we accomplish very little. We have outlived many of the greatest civilizations in the world. We hold the most Nobel prizes.It is this adage in addition to the help of the Ribbono Shel Olam which has made us, Jews, successful.
HAVE A FANTASTIC SHABBOS!