Shavuos — The Marriage of the Jewish Nation

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner
Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

This Sunday and Monday, we celebrate the holiday of Shavuos when we commemorate the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

We find a difference in the Torah between Shavuos and all the other holidays, in the way that the Torah dates the holiday.  By all the other holidays, the Torah gives us a specific date of when to celebrate the holiday, Sukkot on the 15th of Tishrei etc., however, by the holiday of Shavuos, it is dated as seven weeks after Passover.  In fact in ancient times when the beginning of each month was determined by witnesses coming to the court and testifying that they saw the new moon, the day of Shavuot varied on which day of Sivan it occurred.

The difference in the way that Shavuos is dated will be understood by explaining one of the important components of Shavuos.  In the Torah the day the Torah was given is called the wedding date of the Jewish people and G-d since the observance and study of Torah unites the Jewish people and G-d.

However, this needs to be understood. Jewish philosophy teaches that we are comprised of two parts.  We have a soul which yearns to connect to G-d, but we also have a mundane side which yearns for self indulgence, since the meaning of marriage is a total connection how can our mundane side connect to G-d.

The answer is that this is the reason that we must count 49 days before Shavuot.  Jewish philosophy teaches that the heart is comprised of seven emotions.  However, when the emotions are divided in a more detailed way, there are 49 components to the heart.  In order for us to connect in a complete fashion to G-d, the Torah tells us to count 49 days and each day elevate one component of our heart.  Therefore, when Shavuos will come we will be ready to reenter our marriage with G-d with renewed invigoration and joy.

May you have a joyous holiday!

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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