Nitzavim Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20

 

The Parasha “Nitzavim” is always read on the Sabbath before the Jewish New Year. It is normally read together with the following parasha “Va’elech” but the year 2012, תשע"ב is a special leap year in which there are 55 Sabbaths in the year as opposed to the normal 52.

The Jewish New Year, called Rosh Ha Shanah, means “the head of the year” where the word ‘shanah’ שנה is derived from the root word שנ meaning ‘change’. The fact is the year is a circle: There is no defined beginning or end of a year, and the point of ending of one year and beginning of the next is defined by man.

In gematria the end of time and the beginning of a new period of time is defined by the numbers 58, 580, 5800. Where 58 is the end/ beginning of time in the physical world; 580 is the end/beginning of time on a conscious plane and 5800 is the end/beginning of time in a spiritual phase.

As such, this parasha Nitzavim takes place just before Moses is about to be ‘gathered unto his fathers’ on Mount Nebo just at the point when the Children of Israel have completed 40 years in the wilderness and prior to entry into the Promised Land:

And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto to the Mountain of Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:1).

Mount ‘Nebo’ spelt נבו nun-beth-vav 50-2-6 = 58 and signifies the end of the period of exodus from Egypt and 40 years in the desert and the beginning of a new period of existence of the Children of Israel when they will enter the Promised Land: This is a significant change in existence in history of the Jewish people.

The value 58 appears in the parasha Noah (Genesis 6:9 – 11:32) God destroyed the Earth and all humans on it, with the exception of Noah and his family, only shortly after its/their creation. The numerical value for Noah, spelt nun-cheth נח is 50+8 = 58 which again represents the end of the physical world and the beginning of a new world. This significance of the value 58 is further emphasised by calculation that when Noah dies at the age of 950 (three hundred and fifty years after the flood), Abram, the father of the Hebrew race was 58 years old at the time of the flood representing the beginning of a new era based upon the foundation of the Jewish race. The end of the Flood, comes together with a covenant between God and Man in the form of the Rainbow (See hyperlink Noah) just as a convenient between God and Children of Israel was reaffirmed in the parasha ‘Nitzavim’,

The gematrical value 580 is a decane above the value 58 and represents the end and beginning of time in the conscious world. So it is the ram’s horn, the ‘shofar’ which is blown to announce the New Year is spelt shin-peh-resh שפר = 300-80-200= 580. It is also the same value as the word ‘tekiah’, the sound made by the shofar and spelt taf-kof-yod-ayin תקיע =400-100-10-70 =580. So Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, is the end of a period of consciousness and the beginning of a new period of consciousness.

On a tertiary level the gematrical value 5800 is the end and beginning of a spiritual period. So there are approximately 5,800 verses (5841 verses to be precise) in the Torah (Pentateuch) and defines the completion of the Judaic Spiritual Law. In consideration to the Jewish calendar, the present year 2012 is taf-shin-ayin-beth תשע"ב =400-300-70-2 = 5772, indicating there are 27 years left before the end of ‘this’ period of spiritual time and will take place on the 1st of month of Tishrei in the year 5800. In accord with the Gregorian Calendar this will be 19th September 2039.

Taking this in context of the parasha Nitzavim, the opening phrase of the parasha is ‘You stand here today’. The word nitzavim = נצבים means stand’, but it does not just mean to stand. It is based upon the word to be stable, fixed, set in a certain position or place which has coordinates both in the 3 dimensions of space and the 4th dimension of time – past, present and future.

The ‘space’ in this context can be imagined as a man with his legs stretched apart, with one foot placed in the Sinai Desert, the other foot is placed in the Promised Land and the centre of his body is between leaving the desert and entering the promised land at this place by Mount Nebo.

Similarly, on the time dimension, one foot is placed in the future, which is where the Jewish people are today, in the Promised Land, in the Land of Israel. The centre of the body is the point in time representing the end of an era of exile and the beginning of a new era a people with freedom and self-governance.

The other foot is in the past and is not only the 40 years in the Sinai desert where the Children of Israel had wandered, but also the 400 years in the land of Egypt, the period of Abraham, Noah, the flood and Adam.

It is the completion of a circle. Adam and Eve, with the gift of free will and only 6 of the 7 Noachian laws to guide them, chose the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and ‘the eyes of both of them were opened’ (Genesis 3:7) and in consequence they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden by God.

It took 2488 years after the exile of Adam and Eve, going through the periods of the destruction of the world by the Flood, the birth of Abram, the period of fruitfulness in Egypt and the Exodus, before the Children of Israel were able to re-enter the Garden of Eden – the Land of Israel. In contrast to Adam Israelites were armed with the 613 laws and commandments that were in place in order to act as a fence to ‘withstand’ a second period of exile. It is this point in time to which this parasha “Nitzavim” opening with the phrase ‘You stand here today” is referring.

The parallel reference between the Garden of Eden and the Land of Israel is not a metaphor or simile.

You will remember in the parasha Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27),

And the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, To your seed will I give this land; and there he built an altar to the Lord, who appeared to him: And he moved from there to a mountain in the east of Beth-El, and pitched his tent, having Beth-El on the west, and H’ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord: (Genesis 12: 7-8).

If we look at the gematria of the terminology:

Beth El, meaning the house of God, is spelt; beth-yod-taf-aleph-lamed בית אל , having the values: 2-10-400-1-30 = 443.

H’Ai is spelt: heh-ayin-yod, העי having the values: 5-70-10 = 85.

The difference between 443-85 = 358, which is the value for the Messiah (Mashiach, spelt: משיח mem-shin-yod-chet = 40- 300-10-8 = 358), indicating that the Land given to Abram and his seed is the land of the Messiah.

Moreover the altar that Abram constructed was placed between Beth El and H’Ai with this spiritual distance of 358. Hence Abram’s altar which is in the centre to each of these places is 179, which is the value for the Garden of Eden (Gan B’Eden, spelt: gimmel-nun-beth-ayin-daled-nun גן בעדן = 3-50-2-70-4-50 = 179). Indicating that the altar was built at the centre of the Garden of Eden – where the tree of

Hence the parasha is not only about the entry to the Promised Land after 40 years in the desert, but it is about the return to the Garden of Eden from which Adam and Eve had been exiled 2488 years previously. Again God takes the risk that he took with Adam and Eve which is that of free will

Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, until this day: (Deuteronomy 29:3).

But this time the Children of Israel are armed with the 613 laws and commandments to act a fence protecting them from carrying out misdeeds. It is for this reason that in this parasha Moses continuously pleads with the Children of Israel to choose the Tree of Life with all the promises that wise men bring and understand the consequences of turning away from God.

Lessons learnt:

The admonishments, chastisements, warnings and promises that Moses gave to the Children of Israel at the time of entry into the Promised land 3285 years ago is no less true then than it is today. Already the Jews have gone through a second cycle of 2000 years of exile as a result of no keeping the commandments. Each and every one of us is at risk of exile and eviction by each and every decision that we take every minute of our waking day. No less is the importance and significance of the New Year when we ought not only to consider our iniquities over the past year and look to the future of the New Year, but also from where the Jewish race has come from the period of Adam until today and to where it is going.

 

 
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