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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Parsha

From the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe 

Chapter 32

1 Listen, O heaven…. Hear, O earth: The prophet Isaiah also addressed heaven and earth, but he switched the verbs that Moses associated with them. He said, “Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth.” The Midrash explains that this is because one can ask someone close to him “to listen” but can ask someone far from him only “to hear.” Since Moses was closer to heaven than to earth, he asked heaven to “listen” to him and earth to “hear” him. Isaiah, compared to Moses, was closer to earth than to heaven, so he asked earth to “listen” and heaven only to “hear.”

Moses’ consciousness was that of the world of Atzilut; Isaiah’s was that of the world of Beriah. Relative to each other, Atzilut

The parsha always shows us the way to realize the challenges of the moment, and this week’s parsha Nitzavim is no exception; we learn how to prepare for the awesome days of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur. The stirring opening words, “Atem Nitzavim HaYom” - “You are standing today” (Deuteronomy 29:9) - speaks volumes. In gematria - numerology - those words also mean “La’amod L’slichos” to stand in front of G-d and seek forgiveness. During the entire year we “run” from place to place, from activity

We all have our secret lives.

I don't mean to say that each of us has a sinister side, which we wickedly act out in some deep, dark, private world. What I do mean is that we all act differently when we are alone, or with a few close intimates, than we act when we are out in public, among others.

There is no one who is so behaviorally consistent that he is the same person in the privacy of his own home as he is in the workplace or marketplace.

Nor do I suggest that there is anything wrong

We have all been brought up to believe in the importance of progress. For the past several centuries, the goal of philosophy, religion, culture, and certainly science has been to develop ideas and practices which advance humankind beyond its present state.

Poets have acclaimed the superiority of progress; one of them, Robert Browning, put it this way:

"Progress, man's distinctive mark alone,

Not God's, and not the beasts': God is, they are;

Man partly is, and wholly hopes to be."

Browning

In this week’s parsha, the tochachos - the curses, the terrible calamities that will befall us throughout our history are enumerated. There is no parallel to this in the theological or historical writings of any other people, and this, in and of itself, is proof of the Torah’s Divine authorship and the guiding hand of G-d in our history.

There are actually two places in the Torah where these curses are mentioned - once in this parsha and once in the Book of Leviticus - each focusing on a