Weekly Reading Insights: Netzavim/VaYelech 5764


1) Overview of this week's reading

6) One Law of Shabbat per week

2) From the Sages of Kabbala:
Zohar / Ari /Shalah

7) Pirkei Avot - Chapter of the Week
(from Pesach to Rosh Hashana)

3) From the Chassidic Rebbes

8) For more insights from Kabbala into this week's Reading from KabbalaOnline.org

4) An in-depth essay from the Chabad Master series

9) For mystical and other insights for the upcoming festival, go to holidays and kabbala

5) From Rabbi Shaul Leiter, Director

!0) You will also appreciate (sometimes) related items on Shoot the rabbi, Stories, Humor, and Sports.



Overview of the Weekly Reading: Netzavim/VaYelech

To be read on 25 Elul 5764 (Sep. 11)

Torah:Deut. 29:9-31:30
Haftorah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9 (7th of the Seven Haftorahs of Consolation)

Netzavim is the 8th Reading out of 11 in Deuteronomy and 51st overall, and 52nd out of 54 in overall length.
VaYelech is the 9th Reading out of 11 in Deuteronomy and 52nd overall, and 53rd out of 54 in overall length.

Pirkei Avot: Chapter Five, Six
Shabbat Mevarchim

Netzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20) opens with G-d making a covenant with the Jews, establishing them as His nation. He tells them that if they stray from the Torah, evil will befall them, but that when they return they will be rewarded with blessings, and will be returned to their land. G-d sets before them the choice between good and evil, but warns them to stay away from evil.
(Deut. 31:1-30) opens with Moshe telling the Jews that he has reached the age of 120 and will not be entering the Land of Israel with them. He summons Joshua in front of the Jewish people, telling them that he will lead them into the land, and that they should be strong and brave. Moshe tells them about Hakhel, that at every seven years, during the festival of Sukkot, they should gather the men, women and children together, and read the specified portions from the Torah. Moshe wrote 13 Torah scrolls, one for each of the tribes, and one for the Ark.

FROM THE MASTERS OF KABBALA (K:51-52-64/Netzavim/VaYelech)

From the holy Zohar, teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Z:51-52-64/Netzavim/VaYelech)

It is about such a person that it is written: "For those who honor Me, I will honor them." (Samuel I 2:30) For they honor Me in This World and I will honor them in the World to Come.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.

* * * * *

From the holy Ari, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Safed (A:51-52-64/Netzavim/VaYelech)

As we explained previously, the Divine attribute of forgiveness and mercy is indicated in Kabbala by the beard. These thirteen attributes of mercy, then, correspond to the thirteen parts of the beard.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.

* * * * *

From the Shelah, Shney Luchot HaBrit by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (S:51-52-64/Netzavim/VaYelech)

The six days of Creation, known as the days of "binyan", the concealed aspect of the work of Creation, serve as an area in which this wine is stored for the eventual enjoyment by the righteous. The penitent must elevate himself to a level that qualifies him to partake of that wine in the future.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.

FROM THE CHASSIDIC REBBES (V:51-52-64/Netzavim/VaYelech)

"If your outcasts will be at the edge of the heavens, from there the L-rd your G-d will gather you." (30:4)
When a Jew sins, at that moment he becomes a "vessel" for the forces of evil from which his desire to sin originates. His soul becomes "scattered" and "outcast" among the various chambers of uncleanliness. It thus becomes necessary to "gather" him up, and restore him to the realm of holiness.
(Torah Ohr)

"I will certainly hide (lit. "hide I will hide") My face on that day." (31:18)
Twice "hide" because there will come a time at the end of the exile when G-d's concealment will be two-fold. Not only will He be "hidden" within the physical world, but His concealment will be so great that people will cease to realize that anything is hidden! Nonetheless, there is no concealment capable of separating the Jew from G-d. The same "I" Who hides His face is the same "I" Who uttered the Ten Commandments, and dwells in the heart of every Jew.
(Baal Shem Tov)


from the Chabad Master series, produced by Rabbi Yosef Marcus for

www.ascentofsafed.com and www.kabbalaonline.org

An essay from Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter, director of Ascent

(for a free weekly email subscription, click here) (W:51-52-64/Netzavim/VaYelech)

This Shabbat is very important for a few reasons. It is the last Shabbat of the year and, therefore, an excellent opportunity to correct any lacking in our Shabbat observance in the past year. It is also, the Shabbat preceding Rosh Hashanah. Our behavior on Rosh Hashanah - literally "the head of the year" - determines what will happen to us in the coming year, much as the head controls the body.

The Zohar (parashat Beshalach) teaches that Shabbat is the vessel for blessings of the week that follows it. Therefore, how we maximize this coming Shabbat will have a qualitative impact on how we spend Rosh Hashanah, which will in turn have a positive affect for the entire new year, G-d willing. It is of utmost importance to plan in advance for this Shabbat, making it as holy as possible, so that our behavior will be in tune with the day's potential.

Clear hints to the above may be found in the first verse of Netzavim, "You are standing today together all of you...." (Deut. 29:9) When the Jewish people are united, i.e. "together all of you", it is like when children love each other, and it is impossible for their father to deny them. The word "today" hints to Rosh Hashanah. On Rosh Hashanah we are judged by G-d. If we stand together, the decree will be the best. No other possibility should be acceptable. Make every effort to practice "love of your fellow Jew" starting right now.

The Baal Shem Tov asks a question on a verse in Vayelech. "When all the blessings and curses described will happen to you, you will take it to your heart and do teshuva". (Deut. 30:1) It is reasonable to assume that when bad things happen, we will take stock of our actions and do teshuva. But why does the verse mention blessings also?

The Baal Shem Tov answers with an analogy of a villager who destroyed a statue of the king. Instead of punishing him with death for treason, the king gave him an influential position and consistently promoted him until he was one of the king's chief advisers. The more he was showered with good, the more the adviser saw the king's greatness and regretted what he had done as an unsophisticated villager; he now understood how he had been truly liable for punishment. This was precisely the king's intention. Instead of enduring one punishment, the elevated villager suffered a lifetime of regret, increasing more each time he was promoted. How could he have done such a thing to the king?

So it is with our verse. Sometimes when a person sins, G-d punishes. But other times, even when deserving of punishment, G-d will shower a person with kindness. How patient and kind of the Almighty to sustain us, even as we rebel against Him! The pain we feel should be even greater: "How could we do such a terrible thing to the Almighty!?" And when G-d sees this regret that His subject is feeling, this is worth more to him than all of the punishments.

Shabbat Shalom, Shaul Leiter

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P.S. Each week, we will try to bring one Jewish law for the observance of Shabbat. Try giving over these laws at your Shabbos table weekly. After a while, you will be surprised at how much knowledge you gained. Here is the one for this week.

Shabbat Law of the Week, #260

(Trans. & adapted from Kitzur Halachot; pub. Ohalei Shem-Lubavitch, 1992. pg. 265)

If one plans to drink more wine at a meal that he eats immediately following havdala, he should have the intention that when he recites the blessing over the havdala wine, this will not include the wine that he will soon drink. The reason is that the wine drunk as part of havdala is not to quench one's thirst, but rather as part of the mitzvah, and therefore will not also cover the wine drunk as part of a meal. He is should be careful to recite the after-blessing for the havdala wine before beginning his meal.

previous Shabbat Laws

previous Shabbat Laws


For mystical and other insights for the upcoming festival, go to holidays and kabbala.
You will also appreciate stories and humor.

Last year's insights for Weekly Readings

Two years ago insights for Weekly Readings

This year's insights for Weekly Readings:

Bereishit ("Genesis")
Shmot ("Exodus")
Vayikra ("Leviticus")
Bamidbar ("Numbers")
Devarim ("Deuteronomy")
Bereishit 5764 Shmot 5764 Vayikra 5764 Bamidbar 5764 Devarim 5764
Noach 5764 Va'era 5764 Tzav 5764 Naso 5764 VaEtchanan 5764
Lech Lecha 5764 Bo 5764 Shmini 5764 Beha'alotcha 5764 Ekev 5764
VaYera 5764 Beshalach 5764 Tazriyah/Metsorah 5764 Shlach 5764 Re'eh 5764
Chayei Sara 5764 Yitro 5764 Achrei Mot/Kedoshim 5764 Korach 5764 Shoftim 5764
Toldot 5764 Mihspatim 5764 Emor 5764 Chukat 5764 Ki Tetsei 5764
VaYetsei 5764 Trumah 5764 Behar/Bechukotai 5764 Balak 5764 Ki Tavo 5764
VaYishlach 5764 Tetsaveh 5764   Pinchas 5764  
VaYeshev 5764 Ki Tissa 5764   Mattot/Massey 5764  
Miketz 5764 Vayakhel-Pekude 5764      
VaYigash 5764        
VaYechi 5764        


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