Nitzvim and Vayailech 2006

This week we read Parshas Nitzvim and Vayailech. One of the most famous and uplifting verses regarding Teshuva, (repentance) is found in this parsha. The Torah tells us (Deuteronomy 30:6) Umal Hashem Elokecha es levavcha ves levav zarecha – Hashem will “circumcise” your heart and the heart of your children –to love Him, and to serve Him with all your might. We use this verse to refer to the promise of help that Hashem gives us to be able to do Teshuva, to be able to repent and to come closer to Him. A person should never say, “it’s to hard for me to change”; “I just don’t have the ability to do it”. Hashem promises that if we really make the effort, then He will give us the help to do Teshuva, to change and improve. Nachmanidies tells us another thought that is included in this verse. He explains that the Torah is describing the times of Messiah. When Messiah comes, Hashem will change our hearts and attitudes. No longer will we be faced with desires to do improper things. This circumcision of the heart will return man to his status before the sin of Adam and Eve, when the heart desires to do only what is right. He explains, that in one aspect we are better off today than when Messiah comes. When Messiah comes, the reward for doing mitzvos will be very limited because the challenge will be very small. In our times, when we are faced with many temptations that we have to overcome, the reward for choosing the right thing is endless. We must always remember that although serving Hashem may become easier when Messiah comes, the opportunity to grow that we have now will never come again. Have a Good Shabbos !! Rabbi Moshe Travitsky