Hebrew In Israel | Torah Portion Nitzavim-Vayelech – Learn Torah

"Today you are standing, all of you, before YHWH your God..." Deuteronomy 29:9

bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah, free will, predestination, this weeks torah portion, torah portion this week, weekly torah portion

Hebrew In Israel | Torah Portion Nitzavim-Vayelech – Learn Torah

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“Life and good” or “death and evil” is the choice given to those standing before God, as well as to “those who are not here with us today”.  We present implications of these passages and more in this week’s Torah portion, Nitzavim (standing).

Torah Portion Nitzavim: Deuteronomy 29:9 – 30:20

Torah Portion Vayelech:  Deuteronomy 31:1-30

Questions and Topics in this Discussion

  • Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah
  • Who are “Those who are not with us here today”?
  • Scribal Practices That Can Change How We Understand The Text
  • Do We Have Free Will?

This Week’s Haftarot

“…for he has clothed me in salvation, dressed me with a robe of triumph, like a bridegroom wearing a festive turban, like a bride adorned with her jewels.” 
BarMitzvahs, cantillation, Yemenite brides and Edomites all take part in this week’s presentation of Haftarah Nitzavim.
“Return, Isra’el, to YHWH your God, for your guilt has made you stumble.” 
 This week’s haftarah teaching from Hoshea holds a beautiful picture of repentance and God’s great love for Israel.

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Thank you!


Sarah Yocheved

September 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Regarding your comment that Bat Mitzvah being a recently recent thing, what is the origin of the Bar Mitzvah? Is this Biblical or an arbitrary custom instituted by the Rabbis? Why the age of 13. And not 18, or 20? Just wondering.

    Yoel Halevi

    September 18, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    The Bar Mitzvah is not biblical, and early sources talk about age 9 as being when you start a child. The 13 is mentioned in Mishnah Yoma in regards to when a child is required to fast. The same source talks about 12 for girls, which is the age of the Bat Mitzvah.

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