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  • Yehuda Pevzner


This is the last Shabbat of the month of Elul, the last month of the year. The last Shabbat of each month is called Shabbat Mevorchim, when we recite a special blessing that the coming new month will bring goodness, happiness, and peace.

Although this Shabbat is Shabbat Mevorchim, we will not recite this blessing. G-d Himself blesses the month of Tishrei, and His blessing gives us the power to bless all of the other months of the coming year.

What blessing does G-d give? In this week’s Torah portion, we read, “Atem nitzavim HaYom - Today you are standing."

What does the Torah mean by "today"? When is today? Every day? Any day? Our Rabbis tell us that the Torah is speaking about Rosh Hashanah when we stand before Hashem in judgment.

Can you imagine how people in court look when they are being judged? When the judge pronounces a person guilty, the accused man sits hunched over in his place with downcast eyes and a bowed head. But when the judge announces, "Not guilty," the defendant stands upright, holding his head up high, his face beaming with joy.

The Torah tells us: "Today you are standing." On Rosh Hashanah, as we all pass before G-d for judgment, we are blessed to stand upright as our verdict is announced.

The Torah continues: "Kulchem, all of you together." When G-d sees the Jews come together, it's like a father seeing all of his children playing joyfully together. Nothing could make Him any happier.

When G-d sees us come together with unity, He blesses us and seals us for a good year.

Shabbat Shalom!

Candle lighting time in NYC is at 6:59 PM


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