Returning to Sinai Every Seventh Year

Rabbi Shai Held

Parashat Nitzavim

Some moments are so powerful that we yearn to keep them alive even long after they have passed. Some events—a wedding, the birth of a child, a moment of deep connection to the transcendent—carry such deep implications for the way we carry ourselves in the world that we strive to orient our lives around them. One of Judaism's central projects is to maintain a living connection to our foundational moments: to remember that no matter how much time has passed, Exodus and Sinai have always only just taken place. The mitzvah of gathering the people (hak'hel) in this week's parashah is designed to do exactly this. (5774)