A Rendezvous With G-d

Friday, 3 June, 2022 - 10:57 am

Many couples like to travel down a nostalgic path as they reflect on the journey that is their relationship. They choose to revisit a location that was significant in that journey. It might be the place where they first met, or perhaps the site of their wedding, or the spot of their honeymoon. Going back to that space, brings up the memories of what drew them together, and reinforces their connection in the present.

As Jews, we practice this regularly in our relationship with G-d. Many of the holidays and rituals are symbols or commemorations of particular aspects of that connection. Tefillin is often compared to a wedding ring, the symbol of our love and devotion to G-d. Pesach would be our “first date.” Shabbat reflects on G-d’s unique love for us. A Mezuzah can be similar to a photo of our beloved hanging in our home.

Shavuot is our anniversary. At Sinai we stood “under a Chupah” with G-d and committed to each other in an eternal covenant. Each year on Shavuot, we “revisit the spot” by reading the Ten Commandments and the narrative of Revelation at Sinai.

R’ Isaac Luria, the Arizal, takes this a step further. Commenting on the verse in Esther (9:28), “And these days shall be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation,” he said, that we do not merely remember and celebrate, we actually reexperience. Chassidus expands this idea in that as we reexperience each year, we take it to a new level. So, we are not just nostalgically reflecting on something that happened in the past, we are experiencing it in a way that is unprecedented. This year’s “rendezvous with G-d” will be more intense and passionate than ever before.

Shavuot begins tomorrow (Saturday) night. Make the most of this year’s opportunity to take our relationship to new heights. Participate in the all-night learning. Come hear the reading of the Ten Commandments on Sunday. Savor a piece of cheese cake (wedding cake)! What we invest in this rendezvous with G-d, can have yearlong positive reverberations for us!

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Shavuot!
May we merit to receive the Torah in a deeply meaningful and joyous manner!
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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