Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
“All the Torah that millions of Jews throughout the world learned during the holiday of Shavuot could be condensed into a single computer file, not too large, to be quickly accessed whenever we want,” writes Rav Manny Even Yisrael. “So what is the reason to sit and learn the material? Why do people sit opposite these texts, especially when they receive nothing, no degree or certificate, in return?” .
And this is the Rav’s answer, which is also his advice to all of us on the day after the giving of the Torah:
“The Torah offers us something new: learning for the sake of learning. In the world of competition this is something exceptional. The Torah is also not just information; it’s our identity. The Torah demands not only the head, but the heart and the soul, too. The Torah connects us to ourselves and connects ourselves to the One who gave it. The real challenge comes the day after Shavuot. How do we maintain this connection? At Mount Sinai, after the giving of the Torah, the Children of Israel became confused and prepared a golden calf. Today we need to think how to leverage the festival of Shavuot in a positive way. Day after day we counted the Omer, and exactly like a couple that excitedly prepared for their wedding day, we could find ourselves the day after the wedding settled into a gray routine. I suggest that we all find a part of the Torah to which we are especially connected that gives us strength and meaning. We must commit to learning that particular part of Torah, even on a small scale, on a regular and permanent basis, throughout the year.”