Parsha Talk Nitzavim 2021

Parsha talk with Rabbis Eliot Malmet, Jeremy Kalmonofky and Barry Chesler. The last four parashiyot [Torah Readings] of Sefer D’varim [Book of Deuteronomy] comprise fewer than five chapters, whereas the five before this week [Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20] span 22 chapters. We address this point this week, exploring what Eliot calls parshaology. We mostly discuss just a few verses, the opening ones, the closing ones, perhaps a few others, including lo bashamayim hi [30:12, ‘it is not in heaven’], though we do not delve into its rabbinic use in the famous talmudic story, The Oven of Akhnai. This morning in minyan [the first staff day for the new school year], the Associate Head of School asked me about the dots over the words in 29:8. I knew they signified something, but could not remember at the time. Jeremy has a fascinating explanation! In the meanwhile, as we get ready for Rosh Hashanah next Monday night, the three of us wish everyone a Shabbat Shalom!