NITZAVIM (you are standing)

Deuteronomy 29:10 אתם You stand this day before יהוה your Elohim; your captains of your tribes, your elders and your officers and all the men of Israel. 11 Your little ones, your wives and your stranger that is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water. C- MATS

Question:  What does this verse teach us? We are all equal in יהוה’s eyes-no matter what our position in life may be. Moses divided the people into categories to suggest that everyone is responsible according to how many others he or she can influence. Leaders may be able to affect masses of people; women, their immediate families and neighbors; children, only a few friends and classmates; common laborers, hardly anyone. יהוה does not demand more than is possible, but He is not satisfied with less (Or HaChaim).

Question: יהוה says that all people are equal in His eyes. יהוה judges us as we judge others. What do you think this means?  Our attitude toward others is the measuring stick that יהוה uses to measure us and respond to our behavior. When we are forgiving to others even when they mess up, יהוה views us the same way and vice-versa.

Question: Is there anything that is ‘unforgivable?’  יהוה is the ultimate fair judge and sees to it that everyone eventually is rewarded for his good deeds, faces the consequences of his misdeeds and is compensated for his losses. Therefore, while we certainly are ethically allowed to prevent ourselves falling victim to other’s damaging behavior, we should adopt an attitude of forgiveness and leave the rest in יהוה’s capable hands.

Question: Smiling at someone is a more valuable gift than giving them a costly present. What does this mean?  A sincere smile is more than just a turning of the lips-it infuses the person we smile at with powerful and healing energy that reaches their very heart. What mere ‘present’ could compete with that?

Question: Is it appropriate to act kind towards people who aren’t kind to us? While we certainly don’t have to allow people to harm us in any way-people’s unkind behavior needn’t make us become like them. Nearly always things turn out better with others if we remain kind and nice-and for sure it will make us feel better about ourselves.

Spiritual Exercise: At least one time today, smile at someone you normally wouldn’t and make the world a nicer place.