Everyone Counts

Parshat Nitzavim (Devarim 29:9-10) begins with the words: “You stand, this day all of you (kulchem) before God; the heads of your tribes, your elders and your law officers, every person of Yisrael; Your small children, your wives and your convert who is within your camps; from your wood cutters to the water drawers.”

According to Rashi, Moshe recited these words on the day of his death, his last chance to initiate B’nai Yisrael into the covenant of God.

Shem M’Shmuel points out that the Land of Israel can only be conquered if the Jewish people work together. The Land of Israel is the uniting force of the Jewish people. The Jewish people only officially became responsible for one another at this point, right before they crossed the Jordan River into the Land of Israel. In the Land of Israel, the Jewish people are united as one person. Therefore, in order to fully conquer the Land the Jewish people must be united.

Shem M’Shmuel adds that Parshat Nitzavim is always read before Rosh HaShana because Rosh HaShana is a day of unification. On Rosh HaShana each and every Jew should have kavana, focus, on the fact that they are part of the larger Jewish community. Therefore, the Parsha opens with the words “kulchem”, “all of you”.

True unity will only come if all of the Jews work together and take responsibility for one another.