Rabbi's Message

Rabbi Galperin became the rabbi at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in June, 2009.  He brings to our synagogue the youthful vigour and passionate beliefs of the Chabad movement.  Rabbi Galperin is available to officiate at weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, funerals and other life events.

Blink and It's Gone

Almost on cue, the weather has gotten sunny and warm.  Just in time for Shavuot, arguably the most important festival in the Jewish calendar since it marks the occasion when we became a nation under G-d, with the Torah as our blueprint for life.  Which raises the inevitable question:  Shavuot, a time of the greatest Divine revelation, yet it is over in the blink of an eye - in Israel it is celebrated over just one day!  Surely, we should be engrossed in Torah learning and associated activities for an extended period of time?

Before addressing this dilemma, let me point out yet another peculiarity.  In the buildup to the Great Revelation at Sinai, G-d instructed Moshe to restrict the people from touching the mountain - it was sacred ground.  But not for long.  As soon as the Shofar sounded, announcing the departing Divine spirit, the mountain became accessible to all and sundry.  Surely, a place of such miraculous and religious significance should have been preserved as an eternal place of pilgrimage - a place to draw Divine inspiration and blessing?  Why was it consigned to the forgotten narrative of history?

It is because G-d did not want the people to become distracted by the drama and grandeur of the location.  G-d gave us the Real Thing - the Torah, and it is the Torah to which we must set our sights and focus.  The mountain was the backdrop.  The real act is the Torah itself.  A bit like a ship setting sail.  It is accompanied by music, balloons, fireworks and fanfare.  But then the captain grips the wheel and it's time to get down to the business of travel.

Shavuot marks the launch of the ship.  Each year, we reenact the drama and the excitement of receiving the 10 Commandments and Torah.  That only requires one day (2 in the Diaspora).  Then it's all hands on deck as we voyage on the journey of Torah, the journey that brings us all that much closer to the Divine.

In our thoughts



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