These divrei Torah were adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand’s Commuter Chavrusah Tapes on the weekly portion: CD #1044 – Must You Stand For Chazoras HaShatz On Rosh Hashana? Good Shabbos!
Parshas Nitzavim provides an important lesson in chinuch [pedagogy]. After very harsh warnings about what will happen to us if we do not keep the Torah, the Torah concludes with the pasuk [verse] “The hidden things are for Hashem, our G-d, (ha’nistaros l’Hashem Elokeinu) but the revealed things (ha’niglos) are for us and for our children forever, to carry out all the words of this Torah.” [Devorim 29:28]
I saw a homiletic interpretation of the expression “ha’nistaros l’Hashem Elokeinu” which interprets “the hidden things are for Hashem…” to refer to the mitzvos that are between man and G-d. There are aveyros [sins] where “nobody knows the difference” – no one saw you do it, no body heard you doing it; it remains strictly something that happened between you and the Ribono shel olam. For sure, it is something that requires repentance and something for which he will need to give an accounting, but it remains hidden between the sinner and his G-d.
However, the “niglos,” which we do in public are “for us and for our children.” They have an influence not only on us, but on our children as well. A person must always realize that how he acts will have an influence on his children. Whether it is how a person acts in shul or how he interacts with his fellow man, his children are watching and learning from this behavior. “Ha’Niglos” [that which is revealed] is “Lanu” [impacts oneself] and “u’levaneinu” [impacts our children as well]! Not only will they have an effect on our children but also the effect will be “ad olam” – it will have an eternal effect on our children and on their descendants forever more!
The job we do raising our children lasts with them and perpetuates throughout future generations, because how we raise them directly influences how they raise their children. Rav Wolbe writes that a person’s biggest motivation to be a baal midos tovos [kind and generous person] is his children. Even if a person knows that he is not the biggest mentsch in the world and his natural inclinations would not be to go out of his way to show kindness to a neighbor, nonetheless, everyone wants to have “good children”. The surest way to accomplish that is to “talk the talk and walk the walk.” In that way, the niglos will be “lanu u’levaneinu“.
Someone once posed the following question to the Chazon Ish: He has the option of davening in a shul on Rosh Hashana where he would be able to take his child with him or to daven in a Yeshiva, but since the Yeshiva is so crowded, he would not be able to take his child with him. However, the davening in the Yeshiva is a superior religious experience for the father – it would be a more intense davening and he would have greater kavanah [focus]. The Chazon Ish told him that it is preferable to daven with his child next to him. It is important to show the child how his father cries on the Yomim Noraim [Days of Awe]. This leaves an everlasting impression on the child.
This is precisely the intent of the pasuk. The way we act in private (ha’nistaros) remains strictly between the person and G-d. However, that which is public (ha’niglos) has an impact not only on the person but also on his children and on all future generations of descendants. This should give everyone pause as to how they behave.
Transcribed by David Twersky; Jerusalem [email protected]
Technical Assistance by Dovid Hoffman; Baltimore, MD [email protected]
This week’s write-up is adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissochar Frand’s Commuter Chavrusah Series on the weekly Torah portion. A listing of the halachic portions for Parshas Nitzavim/Vayeilech is provided below:
- CD# 022 – Reading Haftorah: Scrolls vs. Book
- CD# 112 – Shoteh: Mental Incompetence in Halacha
- CD# 158 – Schar Shabbos: How Do We Pay Rabbonim and Chazzanim?
- CD# 205 – Kiddush Before T’kiyas Shofar
- CD# 252 – Buying Seforim
- CD# 295 – Burying the Dead on Yom Tov Sheni
- CD# 341 – The Brachos on the T’kios
- CD# 342 – Is Building a Succah a Mitzvah?
- CD# 385 – Fasting on Rosh Hashana
- CD# 386 – Succah Gezulah
- CD# 429 – Treatment of an Invalid Sefer Torah
- CD# 473 – Seudas Siyum Mesechta
- CD# 517 – What Exactly Is Mitzva of Shofar
- CD# 561 – Lo Bashomayin He
- CD# 605 – Selling A Sefer Torah
- CD# 649 – Minhagim of the Yomim Noraim
- CD# 693 – My Father’s Chumros
- CD# 737 – Borrowing and Lending Seforim
- CD# 781 – I’m the Baal Tokeah and Not You!
- CD# 825 – The Shuls of Gaza – A Halachic Perspective
- CD# 826 – Yom Kippur: Women and the Shehecheyanu; Women and Kor’im
- CD# 869 – The Mitzvah of Chinuch-Whose Responsibility? Mother or Father?
- CD# 870 – Yom Kippur – The Yom Kippur That They Did Not Fast
- CD# 913 – The Tefilah of Oleinu
- CD# 957 – Coming Late for Tekias Shofar and Other Rosh Hashana Issues
- CD# 1000 – Ta’amei Hamikra – The Tropp – How Important Is It?
- CD# 1044 – Must You Stand for Chazoras HaShatz on Rosh Hashana?
- CD# 1088 – Learning During T’kias Shofer?
- CD# 1131 – Asking For Personal Needs On Rosh Hashana?
- CD# 1173 – Oops! I Forgot Ya’Aleh Ve’Yavo in Bentching on Rosh Hashana
- CD# 1217 – Fascinating Halachos Pertaining to a Choleh on Yom Kippur
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