We Were All There by Josh Blachorsky


The Parashah this week discusses the covenant between Hashem and Am Yisrael. The Torah (Devarim 29:14) states, “VeEt Asheir Eimenu Po Imanu HaYom, “…and whomever is not here with us today.” However, it is impossible that anyone was absent, as all of Bnei Yisrael was present on that day. So, what could the Pasuk possibly mean?  Rabbeinu Bachya explains that this covenant is binding even of unborn generations; therefore, the Pasuk states even those who are not present to include those not yet born. Rebbeinu Bachya proceeds to compare this to a Mashal of the branches of a tree. The potential of the branches are dependent on the growth of the main trunk of the tree; so too, future generations are included in their parents’ generation, who are accepting this covenant. Additionally, Rabbeinu Bachya gives an alternative explanation, suggesting that all Jewish souls, past present and future, were present at the covenant, even if they were not yet born.  The Gur Aryeih cites a Gemara (Megilah 2a) that states that a lesser Beit Din cannot overrule the ruling of a greater one (similar to the finality of a Supreme Court ruling in the American Judicial System). So too the congregation of Moshe and Am Yisrael entered a covenant that no later generation can annul.

This is a vital lesson to internalize. From here we learn that the covenant between Am Yisrael and Hashem isn’t just an old promise, but it includes us, even today. It is just important now as it was upon conception. One cannot deny religion by claiming he was not at Har Sinai, and did not achieve the level, or closeness with Hashem, that the Am HaMidbar did. This Pasuk proves that we were all at the covenant, and that we all heard Moshe’s voice telling us how to live proper lives. This lesson becomes even more important now that we are approaching the Yamim Noraim, the High Holidays. It is essential that we as Bnei Yisrael do not forget our connection with Hashem, and that it truly is a personal connection we all were apart of. Hopefully, we can all internalize this lesson and use it to achieve a true Teshuvah, and thus be written in the Sefer HaChayim.

Love for Mitzvot by Isaac Shulman

Standing in His Presence by Rabbi Darren Blackstein