Nitzavim – You stand this day, all of you, before the Eternal your G-d. And it means everyone, from the lowliest to the highest and all those in between. I love this, it makes everyone equal, it makes all of us the same, at least within the house of Israel.
As always, there is a two edged sword, a little threat with the promise. Even as Moses tells the people that G-d will not forsake them, he does tell them there will be punishment if they are idolatrous. There can never just be a promise, but that is another story.
As we are nearing the end of the story, as the generations are looking to the promised land, as the people have become a people, this leveling happens. Community is a process, in this case forged over many trials, travels and tribulations. Today as well, community building is a process, a labor of love and work. And in that work, we become equal. Although teams have leaders, good teams work on a level playing field no matter the assigned or adopted task of each team member.
In our current world we have forgotten what team is. We have forgotten what community building means, from the lowliest to the highest, it takes us all. Someone needs to adopt, or volunteer, for every task no matter what it is. In this way society works and all the jobs are accomplished, the rewards are reaped by everyone in some proportional way. We seek these days to eliminate those that would do the tasks we do not wish to do but have no plan as to how those tasks will be done. Nor do we wish to pay for those tasks in a way commensurate with the necessity for the work.
So to, in families. That community needs to be built as well. All the tasks need to be accomplished and some agreement needs to be reached as to who will accomplish them and how they will be accomplished. Respect, trust, equality, fairness, love, sympathy, empathy and faith. All are necessary to the task of building community.
So in Nitzavim we are told we are all equal, and in standing equal we will all be rewarded. The reward of course is figurative for us, we won’t all be entering the promised land. The reward is the community, the respect, trust, equality, fairness, love, sympathy, empathy and faith. And as we approach, in mere days, these most holy of days in the Jewish calendar, we indeed stand equal before G-d and one another . There is still time to correct what needs correcting and return to those values of community building. And one more, most important of all, forgiveness.