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Parashat Nitzavim-Vayeilech - 5777

Dear friends,

This Shabbat we read two very short portions - Nitazvim and Vayeilech. They are usually read on the last Shabbat of the year, just before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

The first few verses in this Parasha are most appropriate as we look back on the year that has just ended, and look forward to a new year:

"Atem Nitzavim" - "You stand this day, all of you, before the L-rd your G-d, your tribal heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Israel. Your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from the woodchopper to the water drawer." (Deuteronomy 29:9-10)

We who have been privileged to live thru another year - even if it was not such a great year - are 'Nitzavim' - 'STANDING' - with our heads high, on call and ready to look forward to a better year. Moses promises that it is easy to do. He says:

"This thing is very close to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart to do it." (Deuteronomy 30:14)

Our mouth and heart represent our thoughts and actions. Positive thinking and words and acts of kindness build wonderful relationships and prepare us to enter the New Year ready and open to all the possibilities that the New year represents.

Nitzavim concludes with two most important words from Moses: "Uvaharta Bahayim" - "Choose Life". There are so many choices that we face everyday. Always CHOOSE LIFE by loving G-d and observing the commandments.

I wish you and your family a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Shanah Tovah Umetukah!