Torah: Nitzavim

L’shanah tovah u’metukah May you be blessed with a good and sweet new year! The rabbis explain that what is good may emerge from struggle and even pain. In looking forward we pray that the new year will allow that goodness to emerge from ease and joy. From my family and me to you: Blessings of a 5777 of health, abundant harvest, and happy memory-making. Elie

Nitzavim: “Today,  you are all standing before God your Lord..You are thus being brought into the covenant of the Ever-Present-One, your Lord…I am making it both with those who are standing here with us today…and with those who are not yet here with us today” (Deuteronomy 29:9-14). So begins the Torah reading each year before Rosh Hashanah and a new year. The words emphasize the immediacy of the past and continuity. This day, I hear the words with added significance. For today is the burial of Shimon Peres, a warrior for peace and the last of the founding father’s of the State of Israel. Today would have also been Elie Wiesel’s 88th birthday. Each of these men shaped our identity and vision of moral responsibility and belonging. As a Jewish people, we are blessed. Our longing for a State of our own was fulfilled during their lifetimes. Each loved our people and lived the best values of our people, values of covenant articulated thousands of years ago. Those values endure through the memories of Shimon Peres and Elie Wiesel, each a blessing to us.