Parashat Nitzavim, Vayelech

By Rabbi David Shasho:

It says in this week’s Parashah וּמָל ה’ אֶלֺהֶיךָ אֶת לְבָבְךָ וְאֶת לְבַב -Then Hashem your G-d will open up your heart and the hearts of your children. The Rishonim point out that the first letters of the words ”אֶת לְבָבְךָ וְאֶת לְבַב“ spell out “אֶלוּל” to awaken us to do Teshuvah in the month of Elul. The last letters of those words spell out “תִּכְתֺּב” -“written” reminding us of the judgement that is coming.

As we prepare ourselves for the day of judgement, we must try to work on our character traits. The מַרְאִית הָעַיִן says in this week’s parashah that someone who humbles himself is able to be complete. Whether it be growing in learning, pure thoughts, or doing mitzvot you will have success. Someone who is humble has no evil rule over him. He is the chariot with which Hashem rides and it’s as if he brought all the sacrifices in the Bet Hamikdash. Therefore someone who truly and wholeheartedly humbles themselves will have a lot of success in his spiritual endeavors.

A story took place in an alleyway in Jerusalem. Two merchants were walking and discussing business matters, when a mild argument erupted between them. Suddenly a voice was heard calling down from a porch above, “It’s Elul today!“ The two merchants looked up and saw an elderly woman. She was shocked that two Jews could argue during Elul.
And the two men stopped. It didn’t matter that the person who scolded them was just an old woman. Her words had an effect on them and they hastened to make peace and not fight in the month of Elul.

May we all merit to have a good judgment this coming year.

Shabbat Shalom