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Let’s take unity to the next level

חג שבועות

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

The festival of Shavuot begins this evening. It represents a much needed revolution in the form of true unity. We have long known how to unite in the face of a common enemy. On Simchat Torah, Sinwar wanted to kill all of us, regardless of our political or religious affiliation, and so we united. An external threat has always increased our sense of mutual responsibility. That’s only logical, but it’s not enough.

The festival of Shavuot calls upon us to rise to the next level — that of authentic unity, unity for its own sake. When the Torah was given, we were not running away or hiding from anyone. We did not come together because of Nazis, antisemites, Hizbollah, or Hamas. We simply gathered joyfully at Mount Sinai and there received our identity. We heard the Ten Commandments and declared in unison: “Na’aseh V’nishma” (We will do and we will understand).

Our identity is not about what we fear but about what we embrace, as negative thinking gives way to positive affirmation. After all, our sustaining, everlasting unity is based on our magnificent common story and our glorious common destination.

Happy Shavuot and may we hear good news.


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