Neetzavim — (not just ohmdim)

Before Moshe’s death he assembled all of the Jews to give them parting words. He tells them [verse 9] “Atem Neetzavim Hayom” – we usually see it translated as “you are all standing here today”.  That is too easy a translation and doesn’t take into account the fact that the word Neetzavim is telling us a message.

If Moshe just wanted to say standing around, then Moshe would have said simply “ahtem ohmdim- you are standing.” However, that is not what Moshe said.  He said, “neetzavim”.  Why and what is its meaning?

BAAL HATURIM says it is the same language that was used when the Jews stood at Mt. Sinai “va’yisyatzvoo” and they stood. Again, the Torah language uses the word Neetzav and not Ohmayd to signify standing – so we still don’t understand the difference.

Let us look at Onkelos to see if we can get a glimmer of understanding.

Onkolos translates the word Neetzavim not as standing, but as “kayamin” of having existence. A Jew’s existence is “lifnay Hashem” standing proud in the presence of G-d and accepting G-d’s will in our lives.

Ah, now the Pasha reads differently.  Each person in our nation gets a real sense of existence through our Avodas Hashem!


And for those who don’t know who Onkelos was, read this:


About jewishspectacles

Jewish Spectacles-the kind you look through, not the kind you create!
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