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This Week's Torah Thought
From Rabbi Miller Nitzavim| נצבים
September 15th, 2017 24 Elul 5777
To My Dear Students,
Our Torah Portion, Nitzavim, begins as Moses tells the Jewish People, “You are standing this day, all of you, before the L-rd your G-d.” Our Sages teach us that “this day” is Rosh HaShana, and that is one of the reasons that this Portion is always read on the Sabbath before our New Year celebration.
This week, when we stand before the L-rd our G-d on Rosh HaShana, our intention will not only be to welcome the new year, for the day will have an even greater purpose: to crown G-d as our one and only Sovereign for the coming year. G-d’s Kingship may well be the major theme of Rosh HaShana.
Rosh HaShana is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve and, as the Maharal teaches, G-d only became King on the day that Adam and Eve were created. G-d has many attributes; He is the Creator, the All-Powerful, All-Knowing, and Eternal One. None of G-d’s attributes are dependent on us, with one exception: His Kingship. As the Talmud says, Ain melech b’lo am, “There is no king without a nation.” G-d cannot be King unless people recognize Him as King. G-d was the Creator, the Omnipotent and Omniscient One before Adam and Eve were created, but He was not King. It was only when human beings were created with free will to choose to accept G-d as their King, did G-d become King. So, the central focus of Rosh HaShana is the acceptance and proclamation of G-d as King. Our Sages say that a reason for sounding the shofar is because trumpets sounded during the coronation ceremony of human kings.
Each of us declares on Rosh HaShana that G-d is “my King.” We make it personal. He is not only Sovereign of the universe and King of the world, but King of my world. He dictates what I must do and refrain from doing. He influences and transforms my life. He is to reign throughout the coming year over my choices and decisions.
May our King inscribe us in the Book of Life for a blessed year. Wendy and our family join me in wishing you and yours a fruitful and abundant year as servants of the Melekh Malchei HaM’lachim, HaKadosh Baruch Hu, the King, the King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed Be He.