Today – Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Nitzavim

We will read this week Parshat Nitzavim. This Parsha is always being read at the last Shabbat of the year. 

I have noticed an unusual repetition of one particular word, in both – last week’s Parsha, (Ki Tavo) and this week’s – Nitzavim. The word “Today”. It appears in different contexts more than in any Parshiot in the whole Torah. There must be a reason! 

Many of us (me too!) like to try and address our own shortcomings, as we approach the new year (I don’t mean a diet, as per the civil new year…) Why is it that most of the things we take upon ourselves do not have a long “shelf life”, and do not last beyond Sukkot?

Perhaps, the unusual repetition of the word “today” is to teach us the importance of never postponing something of importance. The opposite of the German rhyme “morgen, morgen, nur nicht heute, sagen alle faulen Leute” is “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”

And when we want to change something, we should do it today, not “next week”…

My father זצ”ל  used to take his newly written letters to the nearby post box even at midnight. I asked him once – “The postman is not going to empty the post box until 8am, by which time you any how passed by on the way to Shul. So why go down so late on a freezing night (-15°)? To which he replied: „Your logic is right, but it comes from laziness…! (Oy was he right…)

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tová!

Rabbi Chaim Michael Biberfeld