This week we read two Torah portions, Nitzavim and VaYeilech. The Torah portion of Nitzavim is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashana.
Indeed, its very first verse reveals its appropriateness: “You are standing this day, all of you, before the L-rd your G-d.” “This day” refers to the Day of Judgement, Rosh Hashana. On Rosh Hashana every soul, great and small alike, stands before G-d, as it states, “Your heads, your tribes, your elders and your officers…your little ones, your wives…from the hewer of wood to the drawer of water.”
Why do we stand before G-d? “So that you may enter the covenant of the L-rd your G-d.” When all Jews stand before Him as a complete and unified entity, we become worthy of entering into His covenant on Rosh Hashana.
A covenant is designed to preserve the feeling of love that exists between two people. They establish a covenant at a time when their love is strongest, so that it will never weaken. This bond connects them to each other and ensures that their love will last forever.
So too is it with G-d’s love for the Jewish people. His love for us is strongest on Rosh Hashana, as the previous month was devoted to removing our sins.
But how do we arouse G-d’s desire to establish a covenant with us? By being united with one another. How are we to accomplish this, given the differences between individuals?
This can be understood by the following analogy:
The human body is composed of many different limbs and organs. Some are more important, like the head; others are simpler, like the foot. But the head, no matter how important, needs the feet in order to move. The body achieves perfection only when all its limbs act in harmony.
In the same way, even the most important Jews (“your heads”) require the simplest ones (“the drawer of water”) in order to comprise a complete entity. And it is this unity that arouses G-d’s desire to make a covenant with His people.
Our job is to achieve this unity between “head” and “foot.” Every Jew must work on himself until he can recognize his fellow’s unique qualities. It is beyond our capacity to judge a person’s true worth.
Even if one considers himself a “head” and the other fellow a “foot” (as it is human nature to inflate our own self-worth), the “head” still needs the “foot” in order to comprise a complete being.
Let us concern ourselves with correcting our own flaws and not heed the perceived flaws of others. Doing so will ensure that there is no time to look at others’ imperfections!
In this manner we will achieve both self-perfection and perfection as a nation, and G-d will grant the entire Jewish people a good and sweet year with Moshiach NOW!!!