Wow! What a Shavuos we had here in Providence! I feel like I am in a cloud. There was so much learning and communal rejoicing; it was very special to be a part of it. I was inspired by so many ideas that I heard and read, and I'd like to share one of them with you now.
I have been intrigued for a while as to why Shavuos seems to not be as well-known a holiday as others. I had thought that perhaps it was because there is no tangible object associated with Shavuos, as the shofar is to Rosh Hashanah or the menorah is to Chanukah. Perhaps this makes the holiday more difficult to "market"?
I saw a beautiful idea which helped me get a great perspective on this. Shavuos is known in the commentaries as the wedding of the Jewish people with G-d. It is about our relationship with G-d. An object wouldn't do it justice, as we are celebrating the giving of the Torah, which defines this relationship. Relationships do not come from epiphanies but rather from hard work and time put into them. Hence the name Shavuot, weeks. This is a holiday which is the culmination of developing ourselves to strengthen our relationship with G-d and the Torah.
May we all take the energies which this time of year affords us and use them to foster our most cherished relationship with our loving G-d.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!
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Rabbi Naftali Karp
Every week Rabbi Karp sends out thoughts about the weekly Torah portion. Enjoy!