Sunday, September 28, 2008

atem nitzavim hayom kulchem - the totality of each person

The Radomsker asks why the pasuk seems to repetitively tell us "atem nitzavim hayom kulchem", you are all standing here before Hashem, and then after enumerating all the varied socio-econimic strata of people present concludes the section by again saying "kol ish yisrael", all people were present. What I think the essence of the Radomsker's answer means (stripping away the kabbalstic ideas) is that the opening phrase referring to "kulchem" does not really mean all the people in the sense of every member of the group -- that is what the last phrase, "kol ish yisrael" refers to. The opening phrase of "kulchem" means each individual in his/her totality of being. What does that mean? We all wear varied hats in life. We at various times might function as a parent, a sibling, a son/daughter, an employee, an employer, a friend, a talmid chacham, a ba'al chessed, etc. When we are at work wearing the hat of employee or employer and doing business, we might put out of our mind the persona of ben Torah that we wore for davening in the morning. Or when we are wearing the hat of a ben Torah we might forget that we also have responsibilities to a wife and children and need to care for them and give them time that could be spent learning. Sof kol sof it is very difficult to juggle all these hats and never run into a problem, or to feel completely at ease in all of them all of the time. So you might think on Rosh haShana (the day which according to the Midrashic reading of the pasuk is the day which we stand before Hashem) when we step into shul we might cling to that hat which fits best -- put the best foot forward. The pasuk tells is that Hashem will have none of that. When we stand before G-d, it is "kulchem", all the differnet varied personas we adopt are standing before Him, as Hashem judges our actions in every role we play, based on every facet of our personality.

Hopefully we will each be judged for a good and sweet year - kesiva v'chasima tova!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Mussary Chassidish Intresting