Nitzavim/Vayelech 2023



By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

This parsha has a section known as Parshat haTeshuva, for it deals with the return of Israel to Hashem and

Hashem’s returning Israel to to the Holy Land. It is important to understand that this “returning” is cycle-
based, I.e that through Israel’s return to Hashem they will be brought to the Land of Hashem, and also that

through their return to this Land they will receive its spiritual illumination, I.e the illumination of the
Divine Presence therein, and by such they will be able to return even more to Hashem, and so on and so
forth. Of course an important link in this process in regard to location is Hebron, Beacon of the Holy
Land. An important link to this matter in regard to time is this period of the year, when all are engrossed
in the process of repentance, the return to Hashem, with the instrument of repentance, the shofar, sounded
on Rosh Hashana. Indeed, this painting emphasizes the shofar, and one of the verses recited about it in
the special prayer of the Musaf of Rosh Hashana. This verse also mentions one of the central themes of
Rosh Hashana, the Kingship of Hashem. We see seven [the special Jewish number found in many of R’
Nachshon’s paintings] hasidim, three of which are blowing a shofar, perhaps corresponding to the three
types of shofar blasts, which the Kabbalists link to the three Forefathers of Hebron, Avraham – tekia,
Yitzhak – Shevarim, Yakov – terua. Thus, these three also correspond to the sefirot of hesed, gevura, and
tiferet. Also a ram’s horn is mentioned in the context of the Akeida involving Avraham and Yitzhak. The
two trumpeting hasidim seem to correspond to the two sefirot netzach and hod, since these are always
paired Kabbalistically, and also these sefirot correspond to Moshe and Aharon who led the People on a
national level in the wilderness, where the trumpets were first instituted for use. The two hasidim not
playing an instrument, but rather having their hands in the air in a receptive gesture seem to refer to the
sefirot yesod and Malchut which are more “recptive” sefirot. These hasidim are seen in context of the
Menora, considered a symbol of the Holy Presence by our Sages, and also the Temple, the primary
symbol of the Holy Presence. This evokes the verse written here which says that the shofar and trumpets
will be before the “king Hashem,” which suggests God’s Presence and Majesty through the Holy
Presence. These calls raise the sparks, I.e souls of Israel to return and elevate to Hashem, hinted by the
twelve leaves/sparks seen here, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. We see numbers of “crown”
symbols to suggest the kingship theme, such as the tefilin above the Temple, and tefilin are considered a
“crwon” . We see pomegranates which resemble a crown in figure, and other figures as well that resemble

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