Israel Forever

For the week ending 7 June 2008 / 4 Sivan 5768

Shavuot, Sinai and Security

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

As Jews throughout Israel and the world prepare for the Festival of Shavuot as the "Season of the Giving of the Torah", it must be remembered that we do not merely remember the historic event that took place at Mount Sinai but try our best to relive it.

One of the lessons we must learn from such an experience is connected with the unusual name of the mountain where the Torah was given. Sinai, our Sages point out, is similar to sinah, the Hebrew word for hatred, which refers to the hatred of the nations. An original interpretation of this point was offered by the martyred rosh hayeshiva of Yeshivat Beranovitch, Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman.

When our ancestors declared their willingness to accept the Torah, they were set aside from all the nations who had refused to do so and they embarked on a road of no return. Their unique identity as the chosen people would be preserved either by a Sinai adherence to Torah or by the sinah of the nations whose hatred would remind them of their unique mission.

May this Shavuot return all of our people to Sinai and bring an end to the suffering from the sinah of the nations so that we can enjoy security in Israel forever.

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