Parshas Nitzavim

Words in bold represent changes to the traditional translation based on the Aramaic translation/commentary attributed to Onkelos the Ger.

Parshas Nitzavim


9. You stand today – all of you – before Hashem your God: your leaders, your tribes,[1] your elders, and your officers – every man (of) Israel –

10. your infants, your wives, and your stranger who is among your camp, from gatherer of your wood to filler of your water,[2]

11. to bring you[3] into Hashem your God’s covenant, and its oath,[4] which Hashem your forges with you today


12. in order to establish you before Him today as a people and He will be God to you, as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers – to Avraham, to Yitzchak and to Yaakov.

13. And not with you alone (do) I forge this covenant and this oath,

14. but with one who is here, standing with us today before Hashem our God, and with one who is not here with us today.


15. Because you know that we dwelled in the land of Egypt, and that we passed through the midst of the nations (among) whom we passed,

16. and you saw their detestable things and their errors[5] – wood and stone, silver and gold – that are with them.

17. Lest there is among you a man or a woman, or a family or a tribe, whose heart turns today from the reverence of Hashem our God to go to serve the errors of those nations; lest there is among you a man considering sins or insolence.[6]

18. It will be upon hearing the words of this oath, he may think in his heart,[7] saying, ‘There will be peace to me if I go in the thought[8] of my heart’ – in order to add the unintentional sins to the intentional sins for him.[9]

19. Hashem will never desire to forgive him, because then Hashem’s anger and fury[10] will intensify against that man, and all the curses[11] that are written in this book will stick to him,[12] and Hashem will erase his name from under the heavens.

20. Hashem will separate him for evil from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the Torah.

21. The later[13] generations will say: your children who will arise after you, and the citizen of the nations[14] who come from a distant land and will see the plagues of that land and its diseases (with) which Hashem made it ill –

22. sulfur and salt will burn all its land, it will not be planted and it won’t sprout, and no grass will grow in it, like the overturning of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Tzevoyim, which Hashem overturned in His anger and in His wrath.

23. All the nations will say, ‘For what (reason) did Hashem do thus to this land? What (reason has) the strength of this great wrath?’

24. They will say, ‘For that they abandoned the covenant of Hashem, God of their fathers, that He forged with in His bringing them out from the land of Egypt.

25. They went and they served the errors of the nations, and they bowed to them – gods that they didn’t know and (who) didn’t benefit them.[15]

26. Hashem’s anger intensified against that land to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book.

27. Hashem moved[16] them from upon their land in anger, and in fury, and in strong wrath, and He exiled them to another land, like this day.’

28. The concealed (things) are before Hashem our God, and the revealed (things) are for us and for our children forever, to perform all the words of this Torah.

Chapter 30


1. It will be, when all these things come upon you – the blessings and the curses[17] that I placed before you – and you will return (it) to your heart, in all the nations (to) which Hashem your God has exiled you there,

2. and you will return to the reverence of Hashem your God, and you will accept His word according to all that I command you today – you and your children – with all your heart and with all your soul,

3. Hashem your God will return your exiled to you and have mercy on you. He will gather you from all the peoples (to) whom Hashem your God has scattered you there.

4. If your exiled[18] are at the ends of the heavens, from there Hashem your God will gather you, and from there He will draw you near.

5. Hashem your God will bring you in to the land that your fathers inherited, and you will inherit it, and He will benefit you and increase you beyond your fathers.

6. Hashem your God will remove the folly of your heart[19] and the folly of your children’s heart, to love Hashem your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you will live.


7. Hashem your God will place all these curses upon your enemies and upon your haters, who pursued you.

8. And you will return and you will accept Hashem’s word and perform all His commandments that I command you today.

9. Hashem your God will grant you abundance for goodness in every work of your hand, in the fetus[20] of your womb, and in the fetus of your cattle, and in the fruit of your soil, because Hashem will return to rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers,

10. when you accept the word of Hashem your God, to observe His commandments and His statutes that are written in this book of the Torah, when you return to the reverence of Hashem your God with all your heart and with all your soul.


11. Because this commandment that I command you today, it is not separated[21] from you, and it is not far.

12. It is not in the heavens, (that you should) say, ‘Who will ascend for us to the heavens and get it for us, and cause us to hear it (so that) we may perform it?’

13. And it is not on the other side of the sea (that you should) say, ‘Who will cross for us to the other side of the sea and get it for us, and cause us to hear it (so that) we may perform it?’

14. Because the matter is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to perform it.


15. See that I place before you today the life and the goodness, and the death and the evil.

16. That I command you today to love Hashem your God, to walk in ways that are correct before Him, and to observe His commandments, and His statutes and His laws, and you will live and you will increase, and Hashem your God will bless you in the land that you come there to inherit.

17. And if your heart turns and you don’t accept, and you stray[22] and you bow to the errors of the nations and serve them,

18. I tell you today that you will surely perish; you will not extend days on the land that you cross the Jordan to come there and inherit.

19. I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have placed the life and the death before you, the blessings and the curses. Choose the life in order that you and your descendants will live,

20. to love Hashem your God, to accept His word, and to draw near to reverence for Him,[23] because He is your life and the length of your days to dwell upon the land that Hashem swore to your fathers – to Avraham, to Yitzchak and to Yaakov – to give to them.

[1] Rather than “your leaders of your tribes.”

[2] Chumash: “from chopper of your wood to drawer of your water.”

[3] Rather than “that you may pass” (and not “to make you pass” – see Rashi).

[4] As opposed to “its curse.”

[5] Rather than “idols.”

[6] Chumash: “a root sprouting hemlock and wormwood.”

[7] Rather than “bless (himself) in his heart.”

[8] Rather than “desire.”

[9] Chumash: “in order to sweep away the watered with the dry.”

[10] Rather than “zeal.”

[11] Onkelos pluralizes this word, plus its modifier.

[12] Rather than “come down on him.”

[13] Literally, “last.”

[14] Rather than “foreigner.”

[15] Chumash: “whom He didn’t assign to them.”

[16] Or, perhaps, “shook.”

[17] Onkelos pluralizes these words.

[18] Rather than “dispersed.”

[19] As opposed to “circumcise your heart.”

[20] Rather than “fruit.”

[21] Rather than “concealed.”

[22] Rather than the passive “are led astray.”

[23] Chumash: “cling to Him.”

© Copyright 2022 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz