Parshat Nitzavim: High Standings

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25 Sep 2008
Arts & Media




But never





A falling dream

(Or bridge).


A bit standoffish is a Mexican standoff

– Almost like a snob who cannot stand

Anyone or anything without a nose job –

So we only stand on, on what is right

On what is true, and on what is pure.


High standards and higher standings,

A grandstand of standup comics,

Standalone cynics and standstill



(Also of the stand-ins and sit-outs

Who make up the organism that is



Take a stand

– Of course – but never

Stand a take

That is fake, false, fabricated:


You see, the stands of time may trickle through

The narrow center of the hourglass, but even a pun

Could never throw cold water on that which is



You are standing this day

All of you before G-d


Bond… Eternal Bond:


(What, you think Fleming made it up?)


Coming into the land,

It is time to renew our

Bond, our connection

Our unity and oneness,

With G-d and each other.


Coming into a new reality,

A new place, a new year, it is time

To stand up and stand together –

This day and from this day

To this year and form this

Year to every year…


Time to be standing

All of us before G-d


A Standing (and tall) Order:


Standing before the divine comes in two forms –

Both upright:


1: Standing together because we need each other.


I am incomplete without you; you are incomplete without me:

I need you; you need me – without each other I’d be a detail

Stuck in my own ghettos with my own perspectives, as would you:

We need each other to be whole, one, absolute; we need each other

To do, to be what alone we never could, never would.


2: Standing together because we are each other.


I don’t need you; you don’t need me – I am you, you are me.

We aren’t separate details coming together for a common goal;

We are a complete whole, a soul, perhaps at times residing in

Different homes, different bodies (tell me, is a hand any less

A body part than a foot, even though one wears a glove and

The other a sock?)


And we need to stand together in both of these forms:

If we only had the first then we could remain details in

Our own right without transcending the differences, for

Only by essentially being one can we use each our unique

Gifts to actually implement the unity; if we only had the

Second, we would remain one, essentially, internally, but

Our individual contributions would never be realized and



It takes a complete effort to reach a complete picture

To reach the highest of all standings –



I have placed before you

Life and death, blessing and curse

And you shall choose life


And Life it shall be.


A happy and sweet new year!


(How could it ever be otherwise when

We are all standing this day before G-d?)

Mendel Jacobson is a writer, poet and journalist living in Brooklyn. His weekly poetry can be seen at

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.