Elevating to the highest level

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

What is so special about the coming festival of Shavuot? Here’s a simple and beautiful thought that I heard from Rabbi Shalom Rosner of Beit Shemesh:

We know how to unite against terror and during wars when we excel in solidarity. During the corona crisis we also demonstrated mutual responsibility. There are many examples of an external enemy that served to elevate our feeling of unity, and this is important. But our stature when we stood together at Mount Sinai heralded a revolution. It raised us up to a new level of unity.
For the first time we did not run away from anyone but rather came together in joy to receive our new identity. We did not crowd together close beside each other because of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, the Nazis, the anti-Semites or any other threat but instead we chose to be together and to receive the Ten Commandments. We were not defined by a negative experience but by a positive one. During the last several months we went through the negative type of defining experience from the fear of a pandemic. But on the festival of Shavuot it’s possible to elevate to the highest level – unification around our joyful common story.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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