Daily MannaWeekly ParashahDonationsTrinity DoctrineAudio

Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Nitzavim 51-1

You are standing

Deuteronomy 29:10-12 (9-11 Heb.)

All of you stand today before the LORD your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, your little ones and your wives?also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water? that you may enter into covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath, which the LORD your God makes with you today.

Deut. 29:10-12 NKJV

Why children come before women?

In this renovation of the covenant of Sinai on the plains of Moav there were no thunders or earthquakes or loud voices. Therefore, the decision of partaking in the covenant was freer than in Sinai. There, they felt the strong threat, but here, they had to make a decision out of their own will.

The Torah makes a list here of those who had the responsibility of making the decision of partaking in the covenant's renewal. The most distinguished are mentioned first, and the least ones, at last.

What catches my attention is that children are mentioned before the women in the list. Why? Are not women the ones who instruct and support the children so that they become faithful to the Eternal and His commandments? Doesn't the Torah say that children must honour their mothers? How is it that the same Torah places the children in a more distinguished spot than women?

As we've said before, when the Torah makes these kinds of distinctions between people it is not that some have more value as human beings than others. All have the same value, but not all have the same role.

But, isn't a mother more distinguished than her child whom she gave birth to and raised? Of course she is, especially because she has done such a wonderful work as a mother. But in this text we find ourselves in a very specific situation in which the entire people, natives, and converts are standing before the Eternal to make the decision of entering in the covenant to renew it. In this context, male children less than 20 years old have more responsibility than their mothers to make that decision.

In this text the Torah places upon the leaders of the people the largest responsibility to fulfill the obligations before the Eternal. Then come men, even the boys, then the women and then, the converts and their servants.

Men were created to serve as priests, and their women were created to be helpers suitable for them, so that they can fulfill that task before the Eternal properly. Men have a more mayor responsibility than women, but the man needs the woman to be able to fulfill his task before the Eternal.

Women who understand well their role of helping their husbands with their responsibilities are not only important, but necessary, so that there is a balance within the family and society. So, this text doesn't discriminate against women – it only lifts men to a position of great responsibility of keeping the covenant before the Eternal.

When each one finds his place before the Eternal, he also finds peace in his soul.

Shavua tov


Flash Player Needed