This week we read Nitzavim (Standing), Deuteronomy 29:9 – 30:20, which mostly revisits Moses’ and God’s exhortation to the people to keep the commandments. This week, the week just before the holiday of Rosh Hashana, is especially fitting for this portion to be read, as it includes the “Passage of Teshuva,” return or repentance, which appear in chapter 30 verses 1-10. Verse 6 includes the words “And God will circumsize your heart and the heart of your children after you…” The emphasized words in Hebrew are Et Levavcha V’et Levav, the first letters of which spell out the word Elul, which is this month, the month of compassion and forgiveness and repentance.
The Prophets reading is Isaiah 61:10 – 63:9, another wonderful prophecy of consolation for the Jewish People. It is part of a seven week series of Haftarot from after Tisha Be’av until Rosh Hashanah. It contains the beautiful and well known verses 62:6-7:
6 Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen, who shall never be silent by day or by night. O you, the LORD’s remembrancers, Take no rest
7 And give no rest to Him, until He establish Jerusalem And make her renowned on earth.