Parashat Nitzavim

Bringing The Torah Home

The Torah and its lessons are always within our reach.

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Legend has it that Reb Chaikel returned to Lodz and, after a little digging in the basement of his own home, became a very wealthy man.

Sometimes we look at the Torah's values and precepts and regard them as being way up in space, beyond our reach. We look at the Torah's expectations of us as impossible tasks that are as difficult to achieve as landing on the moon was. We view them as hurdles that are impossible to overcome, as if we were being asked to travel to distant lands to perform difficult tasks.

The Torah assures us twice (Deuteronomy 30:11-14) that what it teaches us is within our reach. Even if a Jewish soul is lost in space, coming home to Judaism is always possible. And, we are told, the Torah, our manual of instruction, is more accessible than we may think.

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Rabbi Robert J Orkand

Robert J. Orkand is the senior rabbi at Temple Israel, Westport, Conn.