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Rabbi's Divrei Torah

  • Writer's pictureRabbi Jonathan Glass

Idea on Shavuot

While there are no inherent practical mitzvot for Shavuot, there is a message from its offering. When the temple stood, an offering called the Shtay HaLechem, or the double loaf, was brought. It was unusual because it was only one of 2 offerings the entire year that was made of chametz. Now if Passover is the holiday that rids us of chametz as symbolic of our spiritual “Cleaning of the House'', why are we seemingly going backwards to chametz as the ritual of Shavuot? If we are supposed to be growing spiritually it would seem the order should be reversed!

But if we imagine that Passover is the proverbial swinging of the spiritual pendulum to the extreme, which was necessary to cleanse a nation that was steeped in debased culture (and ourselves from the sediment of the past 6 months). We recognize that eventually we are to reenter life to its fullest, which means the ability to partake of all that life has to offer and still maintain spiritual balance. So whether it was the nation that left Egypt, or our generation, these 7 weeks of effort should bring us to a point where we no longer have to remain on the restrictions of matzah and can enjoy the “chametz” represented by the Shtay HaLechem.

We have all lived lives of restriction in one way or another for the past year and hopefully we have done our best to grow from this unfortunate experience. But now is the time to reenter life, albeit safely, with all its opportunities, one of which is participating in our special synagogue activities. We are bringing back the classic Shavuot experience to delight the senses and enrich the mind, so if at all possible, please join us!

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