Liquid error (sections/custom_mobile-menu line 86): Expected handle to be a String but got LinkListDrop
  • Group 27 Login

Parshat Nitzavim:
Choosing Life Beyond Measure
Torah's Spiritual Insights on Life Death and Divine Connection

In the double Torah portion of "Nitzavim-Vayelech," right in the middle, there's an important message from the Torah.

It says, "I have set before you life and death, and you should choose life."

At first glance, this sentence might seem very obvious. It's saying that if we choose between life and death, we would choose life! Everyone naturally prefers life over death. But the Torah is hinting at something more profound.

The true essence of a person might consider choosing death. Many spiritual thinkers worldwide, people focused on matters of the spirit, suggest that it might be better for a person to leave this world and connect with the divine. There's a somewhat unhealthy tendency sometimes to see death as a mystical way to become entirely spiritual, and some people might be willing to pay the price of leaving their physical bodies – a kind of spiritual death.

But the Torah tells us something different. It says, "I have set before you life and death." While there might be thoughts, perhaps even noble ones, that suggest choosing death, the Torah's innovation is that we should encounter the divine through life. "And you should choose life." Why? Because through this choice, you will live, and your descendants will live on the Earth. It means you meet the Creator by living the reality of this world.

Another fundamental idea from these words is that a person can choose freely. You can choose between good and evil, between life and death. There's no external force apart from yourself that determines the path you take. This freedom of choice brings responsibility. If I choose, I can mess things up. But I can also build. This gives human life a moral significance, a person's desired meaning from this free choice when choosing life.

More Weekly Portions

Journey to Holiness and Ritual in the Tabernacle
[Tzave]

Examining the Tabernacle's essence, this article elucidates the dynamic between contribution and commandment, underscoring their roles in holiness and priesthood. It delves into the nuanced differences between the two, emphasizing the profound significance of incense within the Tabernacle. Moreover, it discusses how the Tabernacle service transcends ritual, influencing daily life and societal norms, offering insights into ancient practices' enduring impact on contemporary spirituality.

Inner Sanctuary
Deep Connection with the Divine in Judaism
[Exodus-Truma]

Discover the profound symbolism of Moses' soul structure and its relevance today, alongside the ancient practice of animal sacrifice within the Tabernacle. Uncover how to construct a spiritual sanctuary in your life, drawing from the rich traditions of Judaism. Gain insights into the dwelling place of God as depicted in the Hebrew Bible, fostering a deeper understanding of connecting with the Divine in contemporary religious practice.

Liberation Beneath the Surface
Souls, Abundance, and Hierarchy in the Torah
Mishpatim

 In an analysis of Torah laws in Mishpatim, this article navigates the intricate hierarchy of harm, shedding light on the profound concept of spiritual freedom. It elucidates the distinctions between Hebrew and Canaanite servants, revealing the Torah's nuanced approach to liberation from physical and spiritual bondage. The exploration emphasizes the interconnected themes of freedom, harm, and retribution, providing a comprehensive understanding of the Torah's timeless wisdom.

Search