Adrian A. Durlester

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Random Musings Before Shabbat-Nitzavim/Vayelech 5758

Not By Ourselves

To me, there is no clearer indication, anywhere in Torah, that Gd takes an active part in the relationship between humankind, and more specifically, Gd's covenanted people Israel, and Gd than in Deut 30:6 -

"Then the Lord your Gd will open up your heart and the hearts of your offspring to love the Lord your Gd with all your heart and soul, in order that you may live." (The JPS translation)

The Torah is replete with stories of Gd entering the hearts and minds of people. Gd hardening Pharaoh's heart is one of the best known. So we know that our Torah is telling us that Gd takes an active role.

Nowadays, however, the idea of free will, personal choice, and personal autonomy is the norm. "I'll choose to love or not love Gd." Do we really have that choice? Who is really in control?

If Gd truly loves us, who are made in Gd's image, and who are directed to keep Gd's covenant, could Gd allow us to perish as a result of our own lack of faith, our own non-belief?

Gd's statement in Deut 30:6 is Gd's proof text that Gd exists and that Gd is the big cheese. We may question and doubt Gd's existence, but even in the midst of our doubt, Gd can and will open our minds and hearts.

There is a quote, the origin of which escapes me at the moment (and I hope one of my scholarly friends will assist me. I researched it once but have lost my notes on it. I think it is used somewhere in Gates of Repentance and attributed in the accompanying Gates of Understanding II):

"If you are my witnesses, then I am Gd. If you are not my witnesses, then I am not Gd."

If Gd believes this to be true, and Gd wishes to exist, then Gd has no choice but to open our hearts and minds to Gd.

As we prepare for the approaching season of awe, repentance and renewal, let's make Gd's job a little easier by being open and receptive to having our hearts and minds opened to love Gd.

Shabbat Shalom,


©  1998 by Adrian A. Durlester

Some other musings on this parasha:

Vayelekh 5766-The Time Is Still Now
Nitzavim 5765-To Lo Or Not To Lo

Nitzavim/Vayelekh 5763-Connect the Dots
Nitzavim 5757/5759/5764-Lo Bashamayim Hi
Nitzavim/Vayelekh 5760-
L'eyd B'vnei Yisrael-The Real Denouement
Nitzavim 5761 was the week of Sept. 11, 2001. There was no Musing.

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