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Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9 Sivan 5778



The second of the three major festivals and comes exactly 50 days after Passover is called Shevuot. It marks the giving of the Torah by G-d to the entire Jewish people on Mount Sinai 3340 years ago. 
The Shevuot Holiday marks the time when the Jewish people became the Jewish Nation, when G-d gave us the Torah. The Torah giving was a spiritual event-one that touched the essence of the Jewish soul then and for all time.  
Each year, Shavuot (a two day Holiday) is the special time for us to reawaken and strengthen our special relationship with G-d. We can do so by rededicating ourselves to the observance and study of the Torah-our most precious heritage. 
The Torah is composed of two parts: the written law and the oral law. The written Torah contains the Five Book of Moses, the Prophets and the Writings. Together with the written Torah, Moses was also given the oral law which explains and clarifies the written law. It was transmitted orally from generation to generation and eventually transcribed in the Talmud and Midrash. 
Throughout the generations the Jewish people have studied these works, commenting upon them, clarifying their meanings, deriving practical applications of these principles and codifying the laws derived from them. Thus, a continuous chain of tradition extends throughout the generations, connecting the scholars of the present day to the revelation at Mount Sinai. 
Everything that happens in our lives is a manifestation of G-d's wisdom, as expressed in His Torah. As such, Torah represents the very source of our vitality, and the key to the fulfilment of our deepest aspirations. 
The Revelation at Mount Sinai was a tumultuous awe-inspiring experience. The entire universe, our Sages say, trembled with the piercing sound of the ram's horn. Thunder and lightning filled the skies. Then-silence. Not a bird chirped. No creature spoke. The seas did not stir. Even the angels ceased to fly, as the voice was heard: "I am the L-rd your G-d ..." 
When G-d revealed Himself on Mount Sinai, our entire people heard his voice proclaiming the Ten Commandments. 
1) I am the L-rd your G-d who took you out of the land of Egypt. 
2) You shall have no other gods before Me. 
3) Do not take the name of the L-rd your G-d in vain. 
4) Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. 
5) Honor your father and mother. 
6) Do not murder. 
7) Do not commit adultery. 
8) Do not steal. 
9) Do not bear false witness. 
10) Do not covet. 
These ten commands range from the highest and most refined concept of the belief in the oneness of G-d, to the most basic laws which every society has found it necessary to enforce such as not killing and not stealing.
See the June issue of Reaching Out for more details.

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