July 21, 2024
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 ‘But I Didn’t Know’

“But I didn’t know!” That famous line we hear from children, students, siblings and anyone looking for an excuse. In parshat Nitzavim, Moshe is teaching us, but it is what you know. There really is no excuse! In perek 29, pasuk 28, it says: הַנִּ֨סְתָּרֹ֔ת לַֽהֹ’ אֱלֹקינוּ וְהַנִּגְלֹ֞ת ֹלָֹ֤נוֹּ ֹוֹּלְֹבָֹנֵֹ֨יֹנֹוּ֨, which means “the hidden is for Hashem and the revealed is for us and our children.” In the first part of the pasuk, we are told that the hidden is not something we need to think about. We need to think about that which is revealed. Then the pasuk continues: עַד־עוֹלָ֔ם לַֽעֲשׂ֕וֹת אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֖י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּֽאת, forever we should do all that this Torah says. The Torah is what is revealed. That is what Moshe is referring to.

As people, we have expectations on how our children should behave, how people should treat each other and many other actions. Just like we have expectations, Hashem has them too. Like any parent, God expects that we do the basics. We should do what our parents spoke, texted, emailed or called us to do. What we are not being penalized for is what we don’t know. Hashem loves us and wants us to succeed. His goal is never to trick and penalize us for something we didn’t learn. Don’t make the excuse that you didn’t know, take and make time to learn. As it is the time of Elul, we learn the first step of repentance is admitting our wrongdoings to become better.


May we all admit our wrongdoings, stop making excuses for our sins and learn about Hashem’s mitzvot that will help us become better people.

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