Bemidbar 11; 11 So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? 12 Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers’?
Imagine you are a parent, you are going to die today and you have one last chance to tell your children something…anything….shouldn’t it/wouldn’t it be the most important thing you could ever say? This is the moment we have reached with Moshe and the Children of Israel. Moshe tells his people he is leaving them, and he will not be there to help them every step of the way. Therefore they must stand firm!!
#5333 (Masc. N) N’tsiyv – נְצִיב – placed, set, one set over, prefect, leader, a statue, military station, a garrison. [ only place found in Torah- the rest in Tanakh refer to military stations, and appointing officers. Ber. 19;26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar ( נְצִיב of salt. ]
Devarim 10; 10 “You stand today, all of you, before the Lord your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 12 that you may enter into the covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath which the Lord your God is making with you today, 13 in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
כֻּלְּכֶם Chulchem- all of you The ALL which composes you- that which you are really all about. …everything that makes you- you. That which encompasses you fully. THE ALL of you. What are we looking for in this life? What are we here for? This period is about a new cycle and a reaffirmation that “I desire to allow You to show me what I am all about” and before I You can do this I need to be covered by Your forgiveness and attached to pursuit of my mission here in this life. If I am attached above, there is no fear of falling down. Even if I fall I am yet held up. The new cycle is a inward and meaningful recognition and expression to the crowned King- “I desire to be attached to You!” Therefore I can stand.
# 5324 (verb) Natsav- נָצַב – to be put, set, to set oneself, TO BE READY, to stand, to stand firmly, to be fixed, to establish, to be planted, to be settled.
[ Some intriguing points at which Natsav occurs, when Adonai (YHVH) ‘appears’ to Avraham Ber. 18;2 When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing ( נִצָּבִים ) opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth… when Adonai (YHVH) stands above the Ladder Ber. 28;12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set ( מֻצָּ֣ב ) on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the LORD stood (נִצָּב ) above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Ber. 35;9 Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; you shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” Thus He called him Israel…..14 Jacob set ( מַצֵּבָה ) up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. When Yoseph (a type of Yeshua) reveals himself to his brothers Ber.45;1 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood ( הַנִּצָּבִים ) by him, and he cried, “Have everyone go out from me.” So there was no man with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. When Adonai (YHVH) reveals his glory to Moshe, Shem. 33;21 Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand ( וְנִצַּבְתָּ ) there on the rock; 22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. After the casting down of the first set of tablets,
Shem.34;2 “So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself ( וְנִצַּבְתָּ֥ ) there to Me on the top of the mountain.” ]
Please look at the following word…. #5251 (Masc. N) Nes- נֵס – something lifted up, a token to be seen from far away, a banner, a standard or flag, a sign by which one is warned, a miracle. [Check occurrences, awesome insights! Our lives being set up as a Nes, bringing attention to the Creator and Master of our lives.]
The shoresh of Nes is #5264 (v) Nasas- נָסַס to lift up, to exalt, to be displayed,[ sparkling.] It is found only twice in all of Tanakh:
Tehillim 60;4 You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed ( לְהִתְנֹוסֵס ) because of the truth. Selah.
Zechariah 9;16 And the LORD their God will save them in that day as the flock of His people; for they are as the stones of a crown, sparkling ( מִֽתְנֹוסְסֹות ) in His land.
Now please look at this word found only once in Torah…. #582 Masc. N – Enowsh- אֱנוֹשׁ -a man, the common people, a man, men, the son of man. Dev.32;26 ‘I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces, I will remove the memory of them from men,” מֵאֱנֹושׁ….. whose shoresh אָנַשׁ Anash means- very sick or incurable! ( found 9 times, 5 of which are in Jeremiah, 17;9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; וְאָנֻשׁ who can understand it? Once and lastly in Micah 1;9 For her wound is incurable, אֲנוּשָׁה for it has come to Judah; it has reached the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem. )
but there is another word for man, #376 iysh (Masc. N) אִישׁ- male, a husband, valour, inhabitant, citizen, soldier, companion, follower, man of God, anyone, someone, each, every one. First occurrence: Ber. 2;23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man מֵאִישׁ. Last occurrence: Dev. 34;6 And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man אִישׁ knows his burial place to this day.
Sabbath Nitzavim- was all about connection to the community, ALL standing today. I’d like to attempt to share with you a small glimpse of the wonder and meaning I found from Elul, Mikveh, Yom Teruah and Tachlish. It’s the only gift I can think to give and I would like to give it to you.
So picture if you will…. warm and tamim (perfect) air, radiant yet gentle sun, orchestral birds, pirouetting butterflies, rustling leaves, rushing water. A remote place you are called to. It’s just you and Hashem. Living water, cool and clear. You remove the sandals from your feet, you slowly step into a pool and plunge your hands into the bottom grasping rock and setting up a stone wall. One by one and bent over you feel as though you are building a sacred temple. Rock by rock each their own unique shape and color each fitting together as if there was some specified puzzle set out before you arrived and now, only now and only you could put it together. Destined for this moment. The rushing water slows and catches just enough to pool up and become a basin for clarification. You breathe at the edge of transparency and pour out your heart to Hashem- Malkeinu Yeshua (Jesus my King), inside myself I have sat upon the throne of my life. I have crowned myself as ruler and dictator and visionary but no more. I relinquish my throne and remove my crown, I ask that You rule in my life and become all the things that I can never be, I ask that You become the King and that I remain where I belong- prostrate as I worship you….this is real to me. You are real to me. Make this real for me. I repent, I have failed every single person you have given me to love. I have fumbled every single task you have set before me. I have squandered every single grace upon grace you have bestowed upon me and I repent. And who is like You oh King who desires repentance. I see and feel the angels worshipping, I worship along with them now. I worship along with the angels before You right now.
You glance up and you focus in on a tiny crevice in the wall, facilitating this now sacred pool of holy water set apart for a Kadosh purpose. What makes it holy? The kavanah- the direction of the heart, the intention of its use, the Ruach (spirit) all around, the witness who is my King, the witness who is my God. Note, nay…. memorize every detail. The water of life is rushing, swirling, churning overflowing. Such is life, so much inside- so much desire- so much- so much- so much- what to do with it? Around and around, flowing non stop….but it is tested, tried, filtered and controlled against the Rock. Rock of deliverance and Salvation, Yeshua…salvation is His name. So the ALL that I am that I can not explain and can not contain is indeed best screened and purified when I am pressed against You. Then You decide what trickles through and at what rate, then You control where I am going and how much of me is released. This is the tiny crevice through which the water leaks…. downstream and out into the world but not of it. Outward and onward and forward sanctified by You, into the earth but not held back by it. It is not I who now bends to the whim of the dirt, but it is I- in You- who shapes it, molds it, makes my way through it, Your way in me. Not to the world do I bend. But to Your will and wherever You will send me.
Isn’t it amazing- how a seemingly ‘simple’ question can take hold and become opportune and destined. A ‘common’ conversation became revelation- for it took me all the way back- my sin, my rebellion, why God is so good. Without the journey- all of this? It never happened….
Tashlich is a ceremony and tradition on which one takes stock of his sins and evaluates his heart. The tradition is to take bread crumbs (our family uses stones) to a body of living water after confessing and repenting to anyone you may have harmed the past year and then asking God for forgiveness. One makes a decision to strive to do better in the coming year and not repeat the same misdeeds. Then one prays and casts the “sins” into the living water. The following are excerpts for the prayers said :
Sing joyously to the L-rd, you righteous ones; it is fitting for the upright to offer praise. Extol the L-rd with a harp; sing to Him with a ten-stringed lyre. Sing to Him a new song; skillfully play sounds of jubilation. For the word of the L-rd is just; all His deeds are done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the kindness of the L-rd fills the earth. By the word of the L-rd the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their hosts.
He gathers the waters of the sea like a mound; He stows away the deeps in vaults. Let all the earth fear the L-rd; let all the inhabitants of the world tremble before Him. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it endured. The L-rd has annulled the counsel of nations; He has foiled the schemes of peoples. The counsel of the L-rd stands forever, the thoughts of His heart throughout all generations. Fortunate is the nation whose G‑d is the L-rd, the people He chose as a heritage for Himself.
The L-rd looks down from heaven; He beholds all mankind. From His dwelling-place He watches intently all the inhabitants of the earth. It is He who fashions the hearts of them all, who perceives all their actions. A king is not saved through a large army; a warrior is not rescued by means of great strength. A horse is a false guarantee for victory; with all its great strength it offers no escape. But the eye of the L-rd is directed toward those who fear Him, toward those who hope for His kindness, to save their soul from death and to sustain them during famine. Our soul yearns for the L-rd; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, for we have put our trust in His holy Name. May Your kindness, L-rd, be upon us, as we have placed our hope in You.
They shall do no evil nor shall they destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the L-rd, as the waters cover the sea. And so, cast all our sins into the depths of the sea, and bestow upon us from them the bounty of deliverance and mercy. Remember us for life, King who desires life; inscribe us in the Book of Life for Your sake, O living G‑d. May we merit to attain teshuvah ila’ah (“higher level repentance”), for Your right hand is stretched forth to receive penitents. Rend the evil [aspect] of the verdict decreed against us; may our merits be stated before You, and may You have forbearance for us for good. Amen.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, L-rd, my Strength and my Redeemer.
This year I inscribed with my fountain pen on a small piece of paper several things I decided to “wash out” into the water for Tashlich. One of the words was “selfishness”. When I nealt down and gently grasped the paper in my hands, I submerged it and began to pray…slowly and delicately rubbing out the SELF part of that word. What remains??
A man, a soldier, a follower of God. And…miracles, signs, something lifted up to be seen. And indeed this is what a true soldier and man of God can become, a standard and banner for His glory in all things….only when- the SELF is rubbed out, slaughtered, sacrificed.
Even with that revelation as the paper broke up and drifted from my fingertips it got stuck as it moved away from me. Mashed against a rock at the waters edge, dangling from a dead branch I yet had to work to send it off. The ‘sin’ needed a little help to ‘keep being removed’, to be kept at a distance until it was finally unrecognizable. It takes effort to distance ourselves from the sin in our lives.
Great Psalm to read in connection with repentance and preparation for Yom Kippur. Read entire Psalm 51.
Psalm 51; 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away תַּשְׁלִיכֵ֥נִי from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You. [ cast me not away…. this phrase is found only here and in Psalm 71; 9]
#7993 (v) Shalak- שָׁלַךְ- to cast away, to pluck, throw off, to cast down or overthrow, to cast off.
By ‘following the word’ Shalak we will take a tour back through some of the most meaningful events of the Torah. Shalak and the casting off in these texts have to do with wanting to be ‘rid’ of something, or the casting of something ‘down’ in order to be a sign or representation of something purposeful to Hashem. This is a perfect way to go back and cement some concepts in our minds before we roll back the scroll for a new Torah cycle.
Bereshit 21; 15 When the water in the skin was used up, she left וַתַּשְׁלֵךְ the boy under one of the bushes.
Bereshit 37;20-22 “Now then, come and let us kill him and throw וְנַשְׁלִכֵהוּ him into one of the pits; and we will say, ‘A wild beast devoured him.’ Then let us see what will become of his dreams!”Reuben further said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw הַשְׁלִיכוּ him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay hands on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hands, to restore him to his father.and they took him and threw וַיַּשְׁלִכוּ him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it.
Shemot 1;22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you are to cast תַּשְׁלִיכֻהוּ into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.”
Shemot 7; 9-12 “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Work a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw וְהַשְׁלֵךְ it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and thus they did just as the LORD had commanded; and Aaron threw וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ his staff down before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. For each one threw וַיַּשְׁלִיכוּ down his staff and they turned into serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.
Shemot 15;25 Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them.
Shemot 22;31 “You shall be holy men to Me, therefore you shall not eat any flesh torn to pieces in the field; you shall throw תַּשְׁלִכוּן it to the dogs.
Shemot 32:19 It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. 24 “I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw וָאַשְׁלִכֵהוּ it into the fire, and out came this calf.”
Vayikra 1:16 ‘He shall also take away its crop with its feathers and cast וְהִשְׁלִיךְ it beside the altar eastward, to the place of the ashes.
Vayikra 14:40 then the priest shall order them to tear out the stones with the mark in them and throw וְהִשְׁלִיכוּ them away at an unclean place outside the city.
Bemidbar 19:6 ‘The priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet material and cast וְהִשְׁלִיךְ it into the midst of the burning heifer.
Bemidbar 35:20 ‘If he pushed him of hatred, or threw הִשְׁלִיךְ something at him lying in wait and as a result he died…22 ‘But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or threw הִשְׁלִיךְ something at him without lying in wait, or with any deadly object of stone, and without seeing it dropped on him so that he died, while he was not his enemy nor seeking his injury, then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the blood avenger according to these ordinances.
Devarim 9:17 “I took hold of the two tablets and threw וָֽאַשְׁלִכֵם them from my hands and smashed them before your eyes. 18 “I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you had committed in doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD to provoke Him to anger.19 “For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the LORD was wrathful against you in order to destroy you, but the LORD listened to me that time also….21 “I took your sinful thing, the calf which you had made, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it very small until it was as fine as dust; and I threw וָֽאַשְׁלִךְ its dust into the brook that came down from the mountain.
Devarim 29:28 and the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast וַיַּשְׁלִכֵם them into another land, as it is this day.’ 29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.
There is a section of text from the Selichos prayers read during Elul which I had in my hands while my feet dangled in that mikveh pool up in our mountains.
Sh’ma koleinu Adonai Eloheinu, chus v’racheim aleinu v’kabeil b’rachamim uvratzon et t’filateinu – Hear our voice ADONAI our Elohim, have pity and accept with compassion and favor our prayer.
Hashiveinu ADONAI Eilecha v’nashuvah, chadeish yameinu k’kedem- renew our days as of old.
Al tashlichenu l’eit ziknah, kichot kocheinu al ta-azveinu. – Do not cast us away in time of old age, do not forsake us when our strength fails.
Al ta-azveinu ADONAI, Eloheinu al tirchak mimenu- Do not forsake us ADONAI our Elohim be not distant from us.
Another wonderful truth that came to me as a matan this season- God our Father is not like us as human parents, He does not grow weary of our callings to Him, He does not get annoyed or frustrated at our failings and groanings. God our Father will not slip up and let us fall, running into danger and becoming harmed, drowning because we walked through an unlocked gate and His eye was on something else. He holds us lovingly at every moment and takes pleasure in being close to His children. Therefore we can keep our faith young, staying alive and excited in His word and work and even when we do feel old in faith He will not forsake us for He is ever close to us. How close? The Torah tells us in these last words of Moshe….
Devarim 30; 6 “Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. 7 The Lord your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8 And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 10 if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. 11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.
May this Yom Kippur- Day of Covering arrive to allow you to expose to your Father the ALL that is YOU and may He bless you with a revival and connection which will make your days filled with a youthful joy in the pursuit of His specialized mission for your life, the ALL that is you that only you….only you can accomplish in this world. Shabbat Shalom!
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