“Hayom hazeh Hashem Elokecha m’tzavecha la’asos es ha’chukim…….This day, Hashem, your God, commands you to perform these decrees and statutes…..With all of your heart and soul.”
Not that the Jews should observe the Torah yesterday, or in the future, but “this day”…TODAY. Why should Moses care when the Torah is to be observed? The main point is to do it!
On this verse, Rashi ( the most famous of all Jewish commentators, 1040-1105) asks the same question. Why “today”?
Quoting from the Midrash he writes, “ Every day the Torah should be new to our eyes as if it was just commanded to us that very day.” Moses is speaking to us from across the ages.
When a person reads this verse today, he is being told “Hashem has just given the Torah to you! You must realize how special it is!”
But how can this be? Surely the Torah was given to us four thousand years ago! We pray the same words each day, celebrate the same holidays each year.
How is it possible to view all of this as “new”!?
The truth is that although the Jewish nation stood before mount Sinai on one specific day in history, many thousands of years ago, the Torah is given to each of us on a personal level every single day.
When we wake up in the morning and thank God for returning our souls to us, we have begun a new day, not a continuation of yesterday. Every day is a new start, we are newly created beings.
And just as we are new, fresh creations, Hashem gives the new us his most precious gift, the Torah, to be learned and lived not as we were yesterday, or for who we might be tomorrow, but for who we are TODAY.
Each of us should remember, that although the days may seem similar, even monotonous, every morning Hashem is renewing his relationship with us,
to see how we have changed, how we have grown, and how we have the ability to make TODAY even better than yesterday.
May you and your families be inscribed and sealed for a good, sweet year.
Rabbi Akiva Hall