Nitzavim/Vayelech 5771 – How to earn Huge merits

All of you stand together on this day (Devarim 29:9)

The Kli Yakar points out that there is a new covenant being given in this week’s parsha. Previously, Moshe made a covenant with the Jews, but this one had a specific difference: the Jews became an “arave” for each other, which means they are a guarantor. Each Jew is responsible to make sure the other Jews do not sin.

The Gemara in Sota 37b shows a calculation how every mitzvah is equal to 48 covenants. Rabi Shimon ben Yehudah comments that each mitzvah is actually 48 times 603,550. The reason is because each mitzvah was heard by 603,550 men (which is the number of men in the desert) and each person is an ‘arave’ for the other. Rebbe states that actually, the number is much greater. It is 48 times 603,550 times 603,550 because each person is an ‘arave’ towards each other who is an ‘arave’ to another. Therefore, for every sin committed, 17,485,084,920,000 covenants are broken. This is something very serious we should think about as we approach the High Holidays. Every sin is a very major matter.

But the opposite is also true. If we get someone else to do a mitzvah, we are fulfilling over 17 Trillion covenants! This is very important for us to remember during these days!

So how do we get others to perform mitzvos? Very easy – behave the way the Torah tells us to.

There were three executives from the entertainment industry who were having lunch together in Los Angeles when a religious family walked by. The family was smiling and clearly were having much fun being together. One of the executives turned to the others and said, “it’s sad we will never have this in our lives.” Well, after hearing that statement, these executives began to make a change in their lives and all of them became Torah observant. The reason: because they saw religious people who enjoyed living a religious life.

There’s a famous story of a man from Texas who visited the Kosel and saw a religious man praying with much concentration. This Texas man was inspired and gave $15,000 every year to a local Orthodox synagogue for the rest of his life because of seeing the man at the Kosel. The religious person behaved properly and through that, he was able to make a non-religious person perform a mitzvah.

Other people see what we do. When we follow the Torah and show love for Judaism, others will be inspired. They will want to perform mitzvos and the credit goes into our accounts (and the credit we receive is huge!)

Good Shabbos!
-yes
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