Parashat Nitzavim, which we read both this week and on Yom Kippur morning, is most famous for two different passages. The idea that Torah is not in the heavens, thus unobtainable, but as close as the air we breathe is found in Nitzavim, as is the idea that all of us were gathered at Sinai for revelation: both our ancient ancestors and every subsequent generation. There is a third major concept found in the text as well to which I want to call your attention.
“Adonai your God will return with your exiles and have mercy upon you.”
Rashi recognizes that this texts reads differently than it should.
Had it meant to convey that God would be responsible for returning the Jewish people from exile, it would have read “v’heishiv.” Instead it implies that God went with us into exile.
Geographically, this is an important concept for a people long removed from their homeland: God’s presence can thus be felt no matter where we are in the world.
Spiritually, this is a key concept as we approach Rosh Hashanah. We are not yet the people we need to become, having repeatedly missed the mark during the previous year. That doesn’t mean that God’s presence is further removed from us, however, only that we need to reorient ourselves to perceive God in our midst.
“Remember us unto life, O King who delights in life, and inscribe us in the Book of Life, for Your sake, O God of life”….for you are stuck with us until we do.