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Parsha Nitsavim | Book: Deuteronomy

Chapter 29

9You stand this day, all of you, before the Lord your God—your tribal heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Israel, 10your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to waterdrawer— 11to enter into the covenant of the Lord your God, which the Lord your God is concluding with you this day, with its sanctions; 12to the end that He may establish you this day as His people and be your God, as He promised you and as He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 13I make this covenant, with its sanctions, not with you alone, 14but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here this day.

15Well you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we passed through the midst of various other nations through which you passed; 16and you have seen the detestable things and the fetishes of wood and stone, silver and gold, that they keep. 17Perchance there is among you some man or woman, or some clan or tribe, whose heart is even now turning away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations—perchance there is among you a stock sprouting poison weed and wormwood. 18When such a one hears the words of these sanctions, he may fancy himself immune, thinking, “I shall be safe, though I follow my own willful heart”—to the utter ruin of moist and dry alike. 19The Lord will never forgive him; rather will the Lord‘s anger and passion rage against that man, till every sanction recorded in this book comes down upon him, and the Lord blots out his name from under heaven.

20The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for misfortune, in accordance with all the sanctions of the covenant recorded in this book of Teaching. 21And later generations will ask—the children who succeed you, and foreigners who come from distant lands and see the plagues and diseases that the Lord has inflicted upon that land, 22all its soil devastated by sulfur and salt, beyond sowing and producing, no grass growing in it, just like the upheaval of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His fierce anger— 23all nations will ask, “Why did the Lord do thus to this land? Wherefore that awful wrath?” 24They will be told, “Because they forsook the covenant that the Lord, God of their fathers, made with them when He freed them from the land of Egypt; 25they turned to the service of other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they had not experienced and whom He had not allotted to them. 26So the Lord was incensed at that land and brought upon it all the curses recorded in this book. 27The Lord uprooted them from their soil in anger, fury, and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as is still the case.”

28Concealed acts concern the Lord our God; but with overt acts, it is for us and our children ever to apply all the provisions of this Teaching.

Chapter 30

1When all these things befall you—the blessing and the curse that I have set before you—and you take them to heart amidst the various nations to which the Lord your God has banished you, 2and you return to the Lord your God, and you and your children heed His command with all your heart and soul, just as I enjoin upon you this day, 3then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and take you back in love. He will bring you together again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. 5And the Lord your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers.

6Then the Lord your God will open up your heart and the hearts of your offspring to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, in order that you may live. 7The Lord your God will inflict all those curses upon the enemies and foes who persecuted you. 8You, however, will again heed the Lord and obey all His commandments that I enjoin upon you this day. 9And the Lord your God will grant you abounding prosperity in all your undertakings, in the issue of your womb, the offspring of your cattle, and the produce of your soil. For the Lord will again delight in your well-being, as He did in that of your fathers, 10since you will be heeding the Lord your God and keeping His commandments and laws that are recorded in this book of the Teaching—once you return to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

11Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. 12It is not in the heavens, that you should say, “Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” 13Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” 14No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it.

15See, I set before you this day life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16For I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His laws, and His rules, that you may thrive and increase, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land that you are about to enter and possess. 17But if your heart turns away and you give no heed, and are lured into the worship and service of other gods, 18I declare to you this day that you shall certainly perish; you shall not long endure on the soil that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life—if you and your offspring would live— 20by loving the Lord your God, heeding His commands, and holding fast to Him. For thereby you shall have life and shall long endure upon the soil that the Lord swore to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them.

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