Torah Portion: Nitzavim (Standing) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 29:9-30:20
Haftorah Reading Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 61:10-63:9
Before we get to the Torah section I would like to say a word about tomorrow. As you know, tomorrow at sundown the biblical holiday, or in Hebrew, Mo’ed, of Yom Teruah begins. The literal translation of Yom Teruah is “the blowing,” meaning the blowing of the shofar. You can read about this holiday in Leviticus 23:24-25. When we look at the times in scripture where the sound of the shofar is mentioned we see several interesting facts. It was used to announce the crowning of G-d as King at Mt. Sinai. It was also used in battle such as when the walls of Jericho fell. It also will announce the coming of Messiah. Revelation 20:4-6.
In Hebrew this day is called one of the Mo’adim of the L-rd. This word, mo’ed, means to stand. It reflects the idea that we are standing before G-d Almighty. It should be a day for us all to take notice of where we are as we stand before the Father. We are given this blowing of the shofar to take notice of our lives. Are there things that have broken our relationship with the Father or our fellow man? Are there things brought to our attention that need to be repented from? We should all use this time to set our lives in order. This Torah portion is always read before Yom Teruah to remind us of where we are. It begins with the word, “stand.”
Now a few words about our portion today. In verses 29:13-14 we read these words from Moshe’s speech, “Not with you alone will I make this covenant and this oath; but with him who stands here with us today before the L-rd our G-d and also with him who is not here with us today.” This seems to make the point that this covenant that the people are entering in to will also be eternally binding for their descendants to come.
In John 10:16 we read Yeshua making the same point to His disciples. He says, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So, there will be one flock and one shepherd.” Here Yeshua is making a point that has been missed by many of us over the centuries. He is saying His word will go out to the non-Jewish world and those people who believe will be joined with Israel as one flock having one Shepherd. Shaul the apostle makes the same point in Romans 11. We become part of the Jewish tree, not to replace them but to be joined with them as their younger brothers and sisters. We are to be all of one flock being of one mind and purpose, not superior but joined together that we might learn from them and understand clearly our Jewish Messiah. We join the water carriers, the wood choppers, the stranger that Moshe speaks of in chapter 29 of Deut./D’Varim.
We learn about how we are to live in today’s world as we read the Torah and the Messianic scriptures. We become grafted in and learn how to go about our life as one people with one Shepherd.
So, as we enter this time of Yom Teruah, followed by Yom Kippur and ending with Succoth, I pray we all take time to pause and see what these appointed times say to us in our days.