Rabbi Sherman Weekly Torah Commentary September 23-24, 2022 (30 Elul 5782)

 September 23-24, 2022                                                                                               Parashat Nitzavim

30 Elul 5782

In his powerful final speech to the people, Moses declares: “You stand this day, all of you, … to enter into the Covenant” (Deuteronomy 29:9-11). The commonly used word for “stand” in Hebrew is omdim, but in this case, Moses instead uses nitzavim. The people are not simply standing; nitzavim implies that they are standing with attitude, with intention, or even at attention. After all these years of complaining about food and water, after challenging the leadership of Moses, and after continuously kvetching, why do the Israelites finally pay attention? Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein suggests that the people have finally realized they don’t have to like all the people with whom they are standing. They finally understand that they don’t have to agree with each other, and they don’t have to share common goals. The Israelites finally have embraced a basic Jewish value: treat other people well, even when we don’t want to. This is what it means to care about others the way we would want them to care about us.


Haftarah of Consolation – We read the last of seven special Haftarah portions of consolation leading up to Rosh HaShanah. In this week’s reading, the prophet Isaiah reminds the people that salvation is near, and that all of the nations will see it. He invokes imagery of weddings to symbolize triumph, and seedlings to symbolize growth. Isaiah also describes the Eternal One’s commitment to the city of Jerusalem: “For the sake of Zion I will not be silent, for the sake of Jerusalem I will not be still” (Isaiah 62:1). He explains that the Eternal One will strengthen Jerusalem in many ways, including by appointing watchmen to guard the city day and night.


Rosh HaShanah is coming!!  Literally “head of the year,” Rosh HaShanah is our New Year and begins Sunday night (the 1st of the Hebrew month of Tishrei). This is a time of prayer, self-reflection and teshuva (repentance). It is also a time for family, community, and celebration. The schedule will be posted all around the building. Watch your ledge for a special holiday surprise treat from our staff!


Please join our Shabbat celebrations in the Synagogue (masks required) or on Channel 1960

Friday at 5:00 PM            Shabbat Blessings in the Dining Room

Friday at 6:30 PM            Shabbat Evening Service

Saturday at 10:00 AM    Shabbat Morning Service followed by Blessings in the Dining Room


Candle lighting time for Shabbat for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 6:28 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:21 PM

Candle lighting time for Rosh HaShanah: Sunday at 6:25 PM, Monday night at 7:18

Rosh HaShanah ends Tuesday evening at 7:17 PM


Shabbat Shalom & Shana Tova!                                                                                                              Rabbi Sherman