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From the Rabbi - June 11, 2024 Shavuot

Rabbi Chaitovsky

Tonight marks the most significant moment in history when G-d showed up for a meeting with the Children of Israel, who, just seven weeks earlier, had been a people enslaved in Egypt, unsure of whether freedom would ever be theirs.

Mount Sinai was the stage for “matan Torah – the Giving of Torah”, but it was the encampment around the mountain that was the stage for “kabbalat Torah – the Receiving and Acceptance of Torah. Our commentators tell us that there, at the foot of the mountain, the Israelites achieved something amazing and unprecedented. Rashi explains that they were there “k’ish echad b’lev echad – as one person with one heart.”

Rashi seems to be saying that there was an unprecedented unity among the Israelites. From my perspective, that unity allowed not only the giving, but more importantly, the receiving, of Torah.

Unity is something that seems more difficult to achieve that ever. We are woefully divided – and like the Jews in Persia during the Purim saga, more than a little confused. Shavuot, standing once again at Sinai, might afford us some clarity. Imagine what our Jewish world would be like if we could recapture that elusive unity of eons ago at Sinai.

Let’s make that the goal of Shavuot this year. We certainly need it, and we would all benefit in so many ways.

I’ll see you in shul!

Chag sameach and early Shabbat shalom!

Rabbi Chaitovsky

Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784