Israel Forever

For the week ending 26 May 2012 / 4 Sivan 5772

Giving and Receiving

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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"The Season of the Giving of the Torah" is how we describe in our prayers the Festival of Shavuot which follows Shabbat this week.

The question has often been asked why we focus on the giving of the Torah, which was G-d's role, rather than the receiving of the Torah, which was ours.

Perhaps the message here is that the Torah was given to the Jewish People only once – on Shavuot – but it is received anew in every generation and by every individual Jew. Every time a Jew who has drifted from a Torah way of life decides to return to it, he is veritably receiving the Torah. And every time a student of Torah or an accomplished scholar discovers a new insight into the scope and depth of Torah wisdom, he is also receiving the Torah.

Since receiving of any kind is dependent on the giving, we joyfully celebrate Shavuot as the Season of the Giving of the Torah.

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