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Netzavim: More than Survival

As we read last week through Parshat Ki Tavo, one cannot but come away with a feeling of helplessness and despair. All those terrible things that could happen (and most of them have), where does it leave us? What future is there for us? Rashi already brings the words of Chazal, that when Am Yisrael heard all the curses they turned green and asked: what will be become of us? To that Hashem answered: "אתם נצבים היום כולכם וכו" -  you are all standing here today etc. History has shown that even though the Jewish nation has been through such difficulties, the reality is that we are still standing here today, a vibrant nation very much on the world scene, and mostly still carrying their Jewish identity.

All this has been possible only for one reason. Wherever Am Yisrael has gone or been taken, they were never disconnected from their source of life. It is as if their whole essence and homeland is with them wherever they go. This brings tremendous connection and unwavering reality of who we are and what we represent. This source is of course the Torah and mitzvoth that keep our spiritual connection to Hashem at all times. This gives us the strength to survive for so many millennia amongst other nations, hostile and antagonistic to our whole being.

As we come in to Rosh Hashanah, once again it is our responsibility to reaffirm our deep connection to the Torah and to Hashem. By continuously strengthening our commitment and dedication to authentic Torah and mitzvoth, this is what makes us a people and gives us the strength not only to survive but to grow and become as Chazal says: "עיני העדה" - the eyes of the nations, a true inspiration to ourselves and the rest of the world.

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