In keeping with the fact that it’s Labor Day Weekend and everyone is ditching shul to go to the beach, let’s keep this week’s d’var brief and to-the-point.
A double portion of Torah lovin’…
Nitzavim: do good stuff and G-d will reward you. Do bad stuff, and G-d will curse you. The end.
Vayelech: Moses is about to die. He gives the keys to the Jewish people to Joshua and they bro down in a tent with G-d who tells them that the Israelites are going to stray from the Torah.
This whole thing seems like a contradiction. G-d is the King of the Universe. You think he’d have the brains to not waste His time telling the Hebrews to worship Him in Parshat Nitzavim when he knows they’re just gonna go worship idols and eat ham sandwiches over in Parshat Vayelech.
But that’s the horrible thing about being a parent. You look into your newborn’s eyes and you feel this rapture that you’ve brought this life into the world. And you don’t think to yourself, “gee, one day you’re going to be stealing my car, get busted for smoking in the school bathroom and flunk out of college because you were more interested in X-Box than Chemistry 101.”
G-d, in this week’s double portion, is like any other parent, struggling to deal with the fact that His children will, in fact, give him the middle finger…and frankly, already have.
But G-d can’t help it. When G-d looks at Creation, it’s like we’re newborns in His hands. And he can’t help but say, “don’t worry I still love you kid, I’ll give you another chance. Just be good this time, OK?” And yeah, we’re pretty lucky like that.