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Parshat Nitzavim

The end-and the beginning-are upon us. Again.

After Nitzavim, just two chapters remain in the Five Books of Moses. The tone feels particularly poignant since we readers know--as Moses does himself--that his death is near.

This Sunday at sundown marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year of 5780, and the season of joyously chaotic, food-coma-inducing consecutive holidays collectively called the Chagim.

Why, then, is Shabbat Mom posting the only family photo she was able to score (self-timed and shot in a parking garage) during a short, volatile family vacation to Italy over the summer?

Because Nitzavim opens with a detailed physical image of the wandering Israelites poised to enter the Promised Land, knowing that in return they must all accept 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 wacky family is present--spiritually, if not physically--in that transformational Biblical moment. So are we all.

"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 our 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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