Parsha Talk Nitzavim Vayelech 5783 2023

Parsha Talk with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. This week’s double parashah Nitzavim/Va-yelekh [Deut. 29:9–31:30] is relatively short yet contains memorable lines and ideas that have had a kind of an afterlife well beyond the Torah. The phrase lo bashamayim hee [Deut. 30:12], “it is not in heaven” figures prominently in one of the great talmudic stories, The Oven of Akhnai [b. Bava Metzia 59ab], and the command to choose life [u-vaharta ba-hayyim] is often cited in discussions governing moral choice. As the book of Deuteronomy winds to a close in the synagogue reading, the figure of Moses looms larger and larger, as does the seeming inability of the author, whoever that may be, to appropriately close the book. Deuteronomy seems to have a number of different endings, and we have yet to get to the concluding parashah. Thankfully, perhaps, our conversation did have an end. We hope you enjoy it! Shabbat Shalom!!