web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Yoram Ettinger: Shavuot Guide for the Perplexed

President Peres at a celebration in honor of Shavuot

Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90

Shavuot highlights the Scroll of Ruth, who lived 3 generations before King David, son of Jesse, grandson of Ovad, the son of Ruth. The Scroll of Ruth is the first of the five Biblical scrolls, which are studied during five holidays: Ruth (Shavuot), Song of Songs (Passover), Ecclesiastes (Sukkot), Book of Lamentations (Ninth of Av), Esther (Purim). Ruth – a Moabite Princess and a role model of loyalty and gratitude – stuck by her mother-in-law, Naomi, who lost her husband (president of the Tribe of Judah) and two sons, in spite of Naomi’s Job-like disastrous times, financially and socially. Naomi’s suffering constituted a punishment for the desertion of the people of Israel (emigration to Moab) during a most difficult draught. Leaders do not desert their people when the going gets rough! Ruth’s Legacy: Respect thy mother in-law(!) and be motivated by conviction over convenience. The total sum of the Hebrew letters of Ruth (רות) – in Gimatriya – yield the number of laws granted at Mt. Sinai (606), which together with the 7 laws of Noah total the 613 Laws of Moses.

The Scroll of Ruth highlights the Judean Desert as the Cradle of Jewish history – not “occupied territory.”

Shavuot sheds light on the unique covenant between the Jewish State and the USA – Judeo-Christian Values, which are based on the Ten Commandments. These values impacted the world view of the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers and the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, Separation of Powers, Checks & Balances, etc. John Locke wanted the “613 Laws of Moses” to become the legal foundation of the new society established in America. Lincoln’s famous 1863 quote paraphrased the 14th century John Wycliffe’s dedication to his English translation of the Bible: “a book of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Shavuot is the day of birth and death of King David (as well as the day that Moses was saved by Pharaoh’s daughter), who united the Jewish People, elevating them to a most powerful position. David – along with Moses and Abraham – was a role model of humility and repentance, hence the Hebrew acronym of Adam (אדם- human being in Hebrew): Abraham (אברהם), David (דוד) and Moses (משה). In contrast with King Saul, King David assumed responsibility and accountability for his sins. He didn’t just talk the talk; he walked the walk! 150 candles are lit at King David’s tomb on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, consistent with the 150 chapters of Psalms mostly attributed to David. Number 150 is the numerical value of Nest (קן), the warm environment of the Torah. David’s personal history (from shepherd to king) – and Jewish history, highlighted by the Exodus – provides a lesson for individuals and nations: Every problem is an opportunity in disguise (from slavery in Egypt to the sublime deliverance at Mt. Sinai and then in the Land of Israel); human beings are fallible but they must recognize their own fallibility, as a springboard toward improvement.

Shavuot is the holiday of humility! The Torah was granted on the small, modest Mt. Sinai – to a small people – in the unattractive desert. The Torah was delivered by Moses, “the humblest/meekest of all human beings.” The content of the Torah doesn’t require an impressive stage. Humility constitutes a prerequisite for studying the Torah and for constructive human relationships and leadership.

Dairy dishes are consumed during Shavou’ot, commemorating divine providence. According to the Kabbalah (Jewish mystical school of thoughts), milk represents divine quality. Babies – divine creation – are breast fed by mothers. Dairy dishes commemorate the most common (humble) food – of shepherds like King David – during the 40 years in the desert, on the way to the Land of Milk and Honey, the Land of Israel. Unlike wine, milk is poured into simple glasses. The total sum of milk (חלב) is 40 in Gimatriya, which is equal to the 40 days and nights spent by Moses on Mt. Sinai and the 40 years spent by the Jewish People in the Desert. 40 is also the value of the first Hebrew letter (מ) of key Exodus-Terms: Moses (משה), Miriam (מרים), Manna (מן), Egypt (מצרים), Desert (מדבר), Menorah (מנורה), Tabernacle (משכן), Mitzvah-Commandment (מצווה), etc. 40 generations passed from Moses – who delivered the “Written Torah” – to Rabbi Ashi and Rabbi Rabina, who concluded the editing of the Talmud, the “Oral Torah.” The first and the last letters in the Talmud is the Hebrew “מ”, which equals 40 in Gimatriya.

About the Author: Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Yoram Ettinger: Shavuot Guide for the Perplexed”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
"Rolling Stoned", a smoke shop in Tel Aviv, sells smoking and vaporising paraphernalia for medical cannabis and tobacco.
MK and Police Discussing Making Marijuana Legal
Latest Judaism Stories
Leff-052215

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

Staum-052215

Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

Torah

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if […]

God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.

So if we basically live the same life, why should he get eternal reward and not me?”

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

In Parshas Pinchas the Torah introduces the Mussaf for Shavuos by describing it as Yom HaBikurim when we bring the new offering.

Rachel was thrown by the sight and began to caringly think whom this person might be.

The desert, with its unearthly silence & emptiness, is the condition in which the Word can be heard

The census focused on the individual, proving each is created as irreplaceable, unique images of God

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Why does the Torah use two different words for “to count,” and what does each indicate?

From Bemidbar on and in Nevi’im, the nation is viewed primarily by its component parts, the tribes

More Articles from Yoram Ettinger
israeli-american flags

Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.

President Obama

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

Suspension of disbelief towards Iran characterizes the Pres. administrations of both Carter & Obama

At 67, Israel reaffirms a historic fact: Pressuring the “Jewish Olive” produces superb oil!

The Constitution created history’s most powerful legislature & inherent foreign policy power battle

A serious peace-driven agreement and the nature of the Ayatollahs is the definition of an oxymoron

Defense, scientific and commercial cooperation between the US and Israel is surging unprecedentedly, in defiance of the unbridgeable gap between the worldviews of President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. For example, 250 major US high-tech companies maintain research and development centers in Israel, which has become a major source of cutting-edge innovative technologies, improving US […]

German poet Heinrich Heine: “Since the Exodus, freedom has always been spoken with a Hebrew accent.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/holidays/yoram-ettinger-shavuot-guide-for-the-perplexed/2012/05/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: