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Climbing Sinai: Preparing for Shavuot

05/15/2022 05:49:33 PM


Rabbi Rudin


Coming in this year on June 4th, the two-day festival (one day in Israel) really wraps it up....or does it?

Shavuot, falling Seven Weeks to the day after Passover, connects Freedom to Freedom.

Freedom in the Passover sense means freedom from.  From what?  From slavery to another human, or slavery to our own lower natures- anger, impatience, the desire to put others down, to serve our own egos or appetites; slavery to any force that demands that we submit and surrender who we truly are.

Shavuot is the opposite freedom. The Freedom to.   Freedom to do what?  To realize our potential for bringing about growth, self-actualization, living our values, being who we truly are.  This is the freedom of Mount Sinai.  This is the freedom of doing Mitzvot.  When we light Shabbat candles, study a bit of Torah, give Tzedaka, reach out to someone going through hard times, pray to G-d from from our heart, then something happens within.  We grow as Jews.  We become more than we were and are able to see the world in an elevated way.  

Only when we are free can we become free.  Only when we free ourselves from slavery: and make no mistake, slavery is exceedingly common.  Whenever we allow our precious time and energy to be sucked away by things that bring us no real benefit or blessing or self-respect, we put on the shackles of slavery.  Only when we break free of those shackles can we work for our true freedom.  The Mitzvot are archetypes of creative thought, speech and action.   In the same way, whenever we express our human creativity: writing a poem, developing a new way of doing something or making something, playing music, fostering a relationship, creating a work of art, a meal to share, a call to a friend, time spent with family, teaching or learning something that will truly make a difference- these are all the footholds of the path up Sinai.  

Chag Sameach- please join us on June 4th in the evening or June 5th-6th for Shavuot Services!

Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784