N’tzavim/Vayelech September 14, 2017

This week’s Torah portion includes the Torah reading that the Reform movement uses on the morning of Yom Kippur.  (In traditional congregations, Leviticus 16 is used, which describes the ancient observance of Yom Kippur.)  In Deut. 30:19, Moses challenges us to “Choose life, so that you and your children may live….” In a commentary on this verse in the Mishkan HaNefesh machzor (High Holy Day prayer book), Rabbi Josh Zweiback says that this verse asks us:  “Do we live in a way that supports life in the broadest sense, or do we live in a way that serves only …our own narrow interests?”  As we inch closer to the New Year and the Ten Days of Repentance, one of the questions we should be asking ourselves is:  What life choices can I make that are not selfish, but that ensure a full and tranquil existence for future generations?  May it the New Year, 5778, be a blessed and life-giving year for us all.