The Weekly Shtikle Blog

An online forum for sharing thoughts and ideas relating to the Parshas HaShavua

View Profile

Friday, September 3

The Weekly Shtikle - Nitzavim / Rosh HaShanah

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h.


The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h.


One of the themes of this week's parsha is that of teshuvah, repentance, a perfect preparation for the days ahead. After the pesukim dealing with the harsh punishments of the man, woman, family or tribe who "goes his own way," we are told of all the good that is bestowed upon us when we return to HaShem.


Perek 30 begins, "And it shall be when these things come upon you, the blessings and the curses which I have put before you...And you shall return to HaShem, your God." It is common, especially at this time, to look back and reflect on recent tragedies - those that affect us personally or as a nation more directly, such as the passing of a loved one or the trials and tribulations endured by our brethren in Eretz Yisrael, and those that might seem to affect us less directly, such as various world events - and try to understand it as HaShem's call for us to do teshuvah. I confidently speak on my own behalf and on behalf of everyone else when I say that we have certainly had a fair share of these difficult times over the course of the past year. It is certainly not uncommon for such events to be invoked in a Rosh HaShanah or Shabbas Shuva drasha.


I am not coming to discount this practice. However, there is a small yet important nuance in the above passage that might easily be overlooked in this process. It is not merely the curses - the tragedies and misfortunes - that are meant to be catalysts to our repentance. The berachah, the blessings and the good fortune are meant to serve the same purpose. It is simply insufficient to look back at the tough times that befell us, either personally or nationally, and declare "God was telling us something." We must also reflect upon the wonderful blessings we have enjoyed, for He was telling us something then too. Appreciating the love and the Divine Providence with which our lives are governed, can and should lead us to teshuvah just the same. Many might find this idea significantly more difficult this year than in others. Nevertheless, it behooves us to rise to this challenge.


Have a good Shabbos and a kesivah vachasimah tovah.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: Name of the parsha

Daily Leaf:ביצה - What is your name?

Please visit the new portal for all Shtikle-related sites,

The Weekly Shtikle and related content are now featured on


To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to


Post a Comment

<< Home