1(RY: ii, LY: iv) “When the time arrives that all these things have come upon you, both the blessing and the curse which I have presented to you; and you are there among the nations to which Adonai your God has driven you; then, at last, you will start thinking about what has happened to you; 2and you will return to Adonai your God and pay attention to what he has said, which will be exactly what I am ordering you to do today — you and your children, with all your heart and all your being. 3At that point, Adonai your God will reverse your exile and show you mercy; he will return and gather you from all the peoples to which Adonai your God scattered you. 4If one of yours was scattered to the far end of the sky, Adonai your God will gather you even from there; he will go there and get you. 5Adonai your God will bring you back into the land your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; he will make you prosper there, and you will become even more numerous than your ancestors. 6Then Adonai your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your children, so that you will love Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being, and thus you will live. (RY: iii, LY: v) 7Adonai your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hated and persecuted you; 8but you will return and pay attention to what Adonai says and obey all his mitzvot which I am giving you today. 9Then Adonai your God will give you more than enough in everything you set out to do — the fruit of your body, the fruit of your livestock, and the fruit of your land will all do well; for Adonai will once again rejoice to see you do well, just as he rejoiced in your ancestors.
10“However, all this will happen only if you pay attention to what Adonai your God says, so that you obey his mitzvot and regulations which are written in this book of the Torah, if you turn to Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being. (LY: vi) 11For this mitzvah which I am giving you today is not too hard for you, it is not beyond your reach. 12It isn’t in the sky, so that you need to ask, ‘Who will go up into the sky for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?’ 13Likewise, it isn’t beyond the sea, so that you need to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?’ 14On the contrary, the word is very close to you — in your mouth, even in your heart; therefore, you can do it!
(RY: iv, LY: vii) 15“Look! I am presenting you today with, on the one hand, life and good; and on the other, death and evil — 16in that I am ordering you today to love Adonai your God, to follow his ways, and to obey his mitzvot, regulations and rulings ; for if you do, you will live and increase your numbers; and Adonai your God will bless you in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it. 17But if your heart turns away, if you refuse to listen, if you are drawn away to prostrate yourselves before other gods and serve them; (LY: Maftir) 18I am announcing to you today that you will certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Yarden to enter and possess.
19“I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, 20loving Adonai your God, paying attention to what he says and clinging to him — for that is the purpose of your life! On this depends the length of time you will live in the land Adonai swore he would give to your ancestors Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov.”
Haftarah Nitzavim: Yesha‘yahu (Isaiah) 61:10–63:9
B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Nitzavim: Romans 9:30–10:13; Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 12:14 –15
Parashah 52: Vayelekh (He went) 31:1–30
[In regular years read with Parashah 51, in leap years read separately]