Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “The covenant is not of yesterday.”

In the Torah, we find several verses asking: “What does the Lord your God require of you?” (Deuteronomy 10:12)

This is directed at each and every individual – not to the leaders, or to the audience, or to someone else, but to you.

In the description of the making of the covenant between God and the Jewish people, this point appears in a verse directed to all generations.

This special verse is phrased in a seemingly strange way: “The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, these here today, all of us alive” (Deuteronomy 5:3).

This combination of words with the same meaning comes to give added stress.

This verse says emphatically that the covenant is not of yesterday, and not with another people but with us, each one of us, and not in a different time or place but “here, today.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz