In this last week before the Jewish New Year, the music is full of the joy of unity, as well it should be. For, after Sinai, the world was forever changed with the hope of duties and blessings that would be shared by all peoples, in unity.
We read in this week’s verses that all stood together – the heads, the tribes, the elders, the officers, men, women, children, strangers – indeed all, from the wood-hewer to the water-drawer.
They were the ones who stood before God on that day to make a covenant to live in love of God and their fellows. But this covenant wasn’t just for them. It, too, was for those who were not there that day. It was for all who follow and will yet follow; it was for all of us. As Micah teaches, it would one day be for all humankind forever.
All who err (all of us) also share in the unity of being given the way back. “You will return to the Lord, your God…and He will have mercy upon you…He will gather you…and will bring you into the Land…”
Isaiah, beautifully and poignantly, says that the land to which we will return will no longer be called “The Forsaken One” or “Desolate Place,” but rather “My Desire Is In Her,” or more simply “Inhabited.” What comfort and relief these words bring to all who stray and seek to return!
Unlike as with many other philosophies or systems of thought, believers in the One God are also united in their universal access to the truth and its ways. They are “not beyond you, nor is it remote from you. It is not in heaven…It is not across the sea…Rather, it is very close to you, in your mouth, in your heart, that you may do it.”
Each of us – all of us – have the glorious opportunity to believe, as with Isaiah, that “God has dressed me in the raiment of salvation, in a robe of righteousness has He cloaked me, like a bridegroom who exalts with a splendor, like a bride who bedecks herself with her jewelry.”