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Parshat Nitzavim

Both the end and the beginning are upon us.

After Nitzavim, there are two just chapters left before the Five Books of Moses (and the life of Moses) end. And this Sunday night at sundown marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year of 5779, and the joyously chaotic, cluttered season of consecutive holidays called the Chagim.

Why, then, has Shabbat Mom posted an end-of-summer photo of her four kids (the only group shot she managed to get the entire season?

Because Nitzavim opens with a detailed physical image of the wandering Israelites poised to enter the Promised Land, but not before publicly accepting His words, rules and laws.

"You stand this day, all of you, before the Lord your G-d--your tribal heads, your elders, and your officials, all the men of Israel, your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to water drawer--to enter into the covenant of the Lord your G-d..."

Based on what Moses says next, Shabbat Mom's family (and everyone else's) was present--spiritually, if not physically--in that transformational Biblical moment.

"I make this covenant with its sanctions not with you alone but with those who are standing here with us this day before the Lord our G-d and with those who are not with us here this day." G-d willing Shabbat Mom's Noa, Caleb, Avital, and Yael--and the children and grandchildren of all of ourJewish children--will never take His inheritance for granted.

"For thereby you shall have life and shall long endure upon the soil that the Lord swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them."

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!

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