This week we read a double portion of Nitzavim & Vayeilech, as we draw closer to the High Holy days.
The first beginning with:
Moses said to the Jewish People, “you are all standing today before G-d….the leaders of your tribes, your elders, your sheriffs…from your woodcutters to your water drawers.” (29:9)
How can we truly unite? After all, some of us are “leaders” while others are “water drawers” and the like. What could Jews of such a wide spectrum of social standing possibly have in common?
The answer to this is threefold: First, who is to say who is ultimately higher on the ladder of achievement? Appearances can be deceiving and we tend to over evaluate ourselves while under evaluating others.
Second, even if we have evaluated ourselves correctly, just because we excel in one aspect of our life does not mean that there are not others areas of life in which others exceed us. Everyone is a leader in some way: therefore, our collective success depends on every Jew’s unique contribution.
Third, the difference between the Creator and any creature is infinite. Realising our own puniness relative to G-d’s absolute reality eliminates any feelings of superiority we may have over other people.
When we consider these three perspectives, we can truly stand together, united, not only with feelings of love towards each other but also with behaviour that testifies the truth to these behaviours.
Wishing you a successful week followed by a peaceful and meaningful Shabbat.