Divrei Torah

PARSHAS NITZAVIM-VAYEILECH 5777

Next week, this year will come to a close and we anxiously look forward to the coming season. It is a time of anticipation and expectation. These are days of reckoning. This year had good times and not such good times. We have hope for the new season - that it should be blessed for us. But, past experiences tell us that it is important that we prepare ourselves for disappointment - in case it does not live up to our expectations.

That sounds like the description of a Cub fan going into the postseason last year. Although deep down people awaited the inevitable disappointment, they all hoped that it would be the year. Last year, after all the suffering and difficult times – the Cubs were at the top of the baseball world. Is the Jewish world any different than the Cubs experience?

It has been a long time since the Jewish people were at the top of the world. When G-d gave us the Torah through Moshe, we were at the peak of spirituality. When the Bais Hamikdash was built in the days of King Solomon, the entire world looked up to the Jewish people. Unfortunately, when one is at the top, there is only one way to go –down. It is nearly impossible to remain on top forever – to remain at a spiritual high for such a long stretch of time. We have suffered exile after exile . . . persecution after persecution . . . difficulties after difficulties.

However, this week’s Parsha begins with the words “All of you are standing here today in front of G-d.” Rashi teaches us that Moshe was giving words of inspiration to the Jewish people. Who can withstand all the troubles? We can! All our enemies have come and gone. Yet, we are still here to talk about it! The Jewish people are the eternal optimists. Every year begins with promise and so often has ended with disappointment. However, that never stops us from saying, “wait till next year!”, or asking ourselves “will this be the year?”

May G-d bless the Jewish people with continued growth and optimism. G-d willing, this can be the year when we no longer will say “wait till next year”, and instead we will all sing, “Take Me Out to the Bais Hamikdash.”