Parashat Nitzavim

Self Deception

Before the Children of Israel enter the land, Moses cautions them against self-deception, an appropriate warning for the high holidays as well.

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The good news in all of this is that change is always possible. The following chapter is an extended meditation on the possibility of choice and change, along with the assurance that this is within the reach of every person:

For this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off (Deuteronomy 30: 11).

Preparing ourselves for the Days of Awe can be daunting--sometimes it's easier to look away than at parts of ourselves that need work. Yet Judaism insists that we have the capability to change, grow, and better ourselves--it's hard work, but it's that simple.

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Rabbi Neal J. Loevinger

Rabbi Neal Joseph Loevinger is currently the rabbi of Temple Beth-El in Poughkeepsie, NY. A former student at Kolel, he served as Kolel's Director of Outreach from late 1999-2001. He was ordained in the first graduating class of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of the University of Judaism, and holds a Master's of Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto.