Commentary and insight from First Fruits of Zion:
The name of the fifty-first reading from the Torah is Nitzavim (נצבים), which means “standing.” The name is derived from the first verse of the portion in which Moses says, “You stand (nitzavim) today, all of you, before the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 29:10). In this portion, Moses invites the entire assembly of Israel to take on the covenant. He warns them that if they sin, they will go into exile, but he also predicts that, in the future, they will repent and God will return them to the land of Israel. In some years, Nitzavim is read together with the subsequent Torah portion, Vayelech, on the same Sabbath.
- Deuteronomy 29:9 | The Terms of the Covenant
- Deuteronomy 30:1 | Repentance and Forgiveness
- Deuteronomy 30:11 | The Choice of Life and Death
- Isaiah 61:10 | God’s Favor
- Isaiah 62:1 | Zion’s Coming Salvation
- Isaiah 63:1 | The LORD’s Day of Vengeance
- Isaiah 63:7 | The LORD’s Mercy Remembered
We have been issued an extraordinary invitation to experience covenant community with the Most Holy God. This isn’t just a one time offer but one that is graciously repeated throughout our lifetime. That invitation to pursue a deeper relationship, to press further in, a growing understanding continuously adding weight and value. But that invitation does not come without cost or requirement. The King of Kings wants us to obey Him, to serve Him, to submit our hearts and our physical lives to His commands. He knows our limits and our weaknesses and has provided us a means to return, to Teshuvah, to Him through repentance. We have the extravagant gift of free will.
Let us choose this day whom we will serve.