Coming Together in Torah
This month, we celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. This holiday actually has a number of different names, including:
- Chag HaShavuot (the Celebration of the Weeks);
- Chag Hakatsir (the Harvest Festival);
- Yom Habicurim (the Day of the First Fruits);
- Atzeret (the Conclusion),
- and Zman Matan Torateinu (the time of the giving of our Torah).
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Psalms 133:1
These different names refer to different aspects of the festival. In the days of the Temple, during Shavuot the first harvest of the wheat crop would be given to the priests and offered as a gift to God. It is the culmination of the Counting of the Omer, a period in which we are meant to examine different aspects of our own character and bring them into alignment with our highest nature.
More important than just having a mental understanding of these concepts, though, is the idea that we must put these concepts into action. It is only when we embody these ideals that we are worthy of receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai.
Dr. Michael Laitman teaches that, The book Likutey Halachot (Assorted Rules) writes in the chapter Hilchot Arev (“Rules of Guarantee”): ‘The root of mutual responsibility extends primarily from the reception of the Torah, when all of Israel were responsible for one another. This is so because at the root, the souls of Israel are regarded as one, for they derive from the origin of the unity. For this reason, all of Israel were responsible for one another upon the reception of the Torah,’ namely the reforming light.”
This idea of coming together as one, with the recognition that we all derive from a common source, is probably more important now than at any other moment in our history. With so much to divide us, we must look beyond the surface level of our neighbors and colleagues to see that authentic spark of light that we
My wish for us during this holy time of year is that we make the extra effort to become aware of that spark within ourselves and to see it in everyone around us.