Avoiding a Shavuot Hangover

Friday, 6 June, 2014 - 12:22 pm

Inspiration often comes to us easily. The challenge is channeling that inspiration into something concrete and transformative.

Today is the day after the holiday of Shavuot. Shavuot has many distinct elements and qualities about it. There is distinct food – cheesecake and blintzes. There is a distinct way of celebrating – staying up all night learning and the intense reading of the Ten Commandments. It is even distinct in that unlike most other Jewish holidays we are not celebrating salvation from physical danger or assault. Shavuot is not a celebration in the vein of “They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.” Oh, we do plenty of eating alright; but this time we are celebrating salvation of spirit and soul.

So the question is, as we wake up the morning after are we feeling the cheesecake or the Torah? Do we fondly recall the dairy Kiddush more than the moment that we dedicated ourselves anew to the study of Torah and fulfillment of Mitzvot? Do not be afraid of the answer. The Jewish people at Sinai also had a hard time maintaining the intensity of the inspiration they derived from their experience of revelation. A mere few weeks later many were dancing around something that was antithetical to everything they were supposed to have learned.

So what is the solution? How do we avoid Shavuot hangover? By immediately translating the inspiration into action. By fixing a new (or renewed) time for regular Torah study. By undertaking to attend the Synagogue more often than before. By resolving to fulfill a new Mitzvah or improving on one that had fallen to the wayside. The compliment to all of these suggested solutions is, “the best way to avoid a Shavuot hangover is to keep getting inspired.” I would strongly recommend that you take advantage of a real treasure trove of inspiration from which you can benefit in the comfort of your home or office. I refer to There are thousands of videos – with something for every preference. Taste and you will see that it is good.

Chabad of Louisiana has several exciting announcements to make in the next week. Stay tuned for details on these upcoming programs and events.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin


Comments on: Avoiding a Shavuot Hangover
There are no comments.