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 Shavuot - The Giving and the Receiving of Torah

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daniel eliezer

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Posts : 82
Join date : 2011-12-01
Location : Beit El, Israel

PostSubject: Shavuot - The Giving and the Receiving of Torah   Mon May 13, 2013 8:13 am

For those who have difficulty with the transliterated Hebrew and who don't have access
to Jewish libraries, most transliterated Hebrew can probably be found through Google.
If the word is critical to what I'm saying, then it is explained.

* * *
Shavuot - The Giving and the Receiving of Torah

I am not a writer by profession, and all the writing I have done began during the worst years [2001-6] of wanton Arab barbarism here in the Land of Israel. I would write:

These are days of great sacrifice and great pain, days of tremendous desire and tremendous frustration, and days of incredible dreams and incremental fulfillment. Everything we do is so beyond us - so beyond us because everything that we are doing is for the sake of God’s dream - His dream that He and His Holy people can finally be together again - this time forever.

Whenever I sat and sit down to write, that is in my heart, ‘we are building God’s dream’.

To others, however, this wasn’t and isn’t so clear or obvious, and I discovered that a good part of my efforts was needed to build and sustain, encourage and motivate.”

It was during those days that at some point I would begin to say, “I wish I could be a nuclear bomb of ‘Simcha’ – of Joy where all the fallout would be love
.”

If we’ve never been blessed to have heard it before, “everything that we are doing is for the sake of God’s dream - His dream that He and His Holy people can finally be together again - this time forever,” is the entire purpose of Creation and existence, and this includes Jews - by birth and by Choice, and non-Jews. “What?…God’s not big enough for all of us?!”

Mt. Sinai - The Giving and the Receiving of Torah – was one genuinely huge step for mankind. (No offense, Neal [Armstrong], but conquering outer-space doesn’t begin to approach conquering inner-space.) Because we’ve tragically been in Exile for too, too many generations, we are far less capable of re-experiencing what Mt. Sinai and Matan Torah was. A nuclear explosion of ‘Simcha’ – of Joy where all the fallout is love is definitely a tremendous description of what was, and when we understand this our Shavuot and Matan Torah become something else altogether.

[Note: This should not be misunderstood whatsoever. How we receive something is how we give it over. If we receive in anger, we give it over in anger; if we receive it cynically, we give it over cynically; if we receive it in fear, we give it over in fear, and etc. When, however, we receive it with love and song, like we did on Mt. Sinai, ahhh….then we give it over with love and song!

I want to share from the early days of my writing (which I’ve mentioned above) something to teach us ‘about ourselves and about what it’s all about’. We may, God forbid, be completely oblivious and ignorant to any more or any greater existence than our own, but God isn’t and there is purpose to Creation and purpose to why each and every single one of us exists.

What follows is written about ‘Shlomo’, a real person and one of the most genuine Jews of our generation, who left this world twenty years ago. I was in his presence a few times but never met him or knew him personally, yet I would go on to become very close to his teachings and to some of his closest students. He literally saved my life some twelve years after he left this world(!?), but that’s a story I can’t share; only mention. Maybe another time, please God, I’ll share more about Shlomo that I can share.

[Note: Regarding what follows, thank God, we’ve had many, many great Rabbis throughout the generations, but the pulpit rabbi of today, a modern phenomenon, is generally far removed even from the rabbis of a generation or two ago and certainly from the great rabbis of times past. The ‘Rebbe’ or ‘rebbe’ comes to us through the advent of Chassidut [Chassidism]. In search of how to reform the world of Jews, Reform Jewry looked ‘outside Torah’ for answer, while Chassidut looked ‘inside Torah’ for answer. In their doing so, the genuine Chassidic masters, the Rebbes, would discover the deepest and highest Holiest Fire [Light]. This we have to and can learn for ourselves, but it’s important to know that every genuine ‘Rebbe’ and ‘rebbe’ is a ‘soul doctor’ in the deepest way. They literally take responsibility for the neshama [soul] of every Yid, so when we speak about ‘Rebbes’ this is whom we’re describing.]

* * *
Shlomo’s Song

In a sense Rebbes are simply messengers, albeit Holy messengers. Each and every one of them is only bringing us God’s message, God’s eternal love call – come back, come home, return to me. From the immortal moment that the Torah came into the world, that is the message that the Torah has been calling to us – return. Each Rebbe in his own unique fashion gives us the means to hear God’s Holy message. Each Rebbe grapples with his share of Divine Light and struggles with how to get it to and share it with as many of us as is possible. While each understands that he is blessed to be a conduit, above everything else each accepts upon himself the awesome responsibility of making sure that the God’s Holy message gets distributed as far and wide as possible.

Shlomo’s uniqueness, like every other Rebbe’s, is that of timing. He came into the world exactly at the moment when he was most needed. Unlike the other great Rebbes, Shlomo had the great blessing of learning and living Torah both before and after we returned to our homeland, Eretz Israel [Land of Israel], and the great merit of teaching our generation. We, the generation of return – to ourselves, to our faith, and to our homeland - are influenced by Rav Kook [Avraham Yitzhak HaKohan Kook] who sees the lights of our returning as the light for the rebuilding of Jews, Judaism, and Israel. He teaches that everything – inside and out – is Godly, that we must return everything to its Godliness, and that we must do it now. That Godliness, our Holiness, is our reason for existence - Rebbes and Hasidim and world alike.

That search for and return of everything to Godliness is Shlomo. As a Rebbe he was blessed with both the insight to see our true Holiness and the ability to make us see it as well.

What Shlomo had in common with all the great Rebbes was the uncanny ability of making God personal to each and every person. He literally opened up our hearts and souls to that special dwelling place where God’s Holiness resides. He showed each of us how we are uniquely connected to God and he welcomed each of us into God’s Divine and Magnificent Kingdom. For some of us he opened up the Holy scholar that is inside, for others he opened up the Holy musician, for others the Holy teacher, and for others the Holy listener and friend. Whatever kind of Holiness we possess Shlomo brought it to life. When Shlomo reached out and taught us and cherished us he was giving us God’s Holy message. Like every great teacher of Torah and every great Rebbe, he fervently hoped that we, too, would reach out and teach and cherish and give God’s Holy message.

Shlomo gave so much, brought into the world so much, and shared so much. He left us with things that had we not crossed his path almost assuredly we would never have received them. Of all his teachings, what Shlomo most bequeathed us was to hear song - to want to hear song - to ache to hear song – to know that song is in everything. He taught us to listen to the song of the broken heart and the falling tears, the song of the setting sun and the rising moon, the song of the children and parents, the song of Jews and Jerusalem, the song of husband and wife, the song of Israel and the Holy Temple, the song of brothers and sisters, the song of love and God, the song of You and Me, the song of Shabbat and Yom Tov, the song of God and Torah, the song of Creator and Creation. He taught us his songs and the music he sang is his Torah, the Torah that he used to connect us to the Holiest Song of all - the Song of the Holiness of Being and Oneness.

Shlomo was so connected that he was capable of connecting us, also. For many he was the most connected person any of us ever met. Perhaps what we miss the most about him is just how much he so connected everything and everyone. Perhaps what we search the most for, what we long and ache the most for is the kind of connection that Shlomo had and gave us. Perhaps, just perhaps, one of our most fervent prayers and wishes is that somehow some way we can grasp a little bit of him and become connected ourselves. Let it be a story, Torah, or song. Let it be a blessing, kind word, or other mitzvah – whatever, just as long as it lets us be connected. Let it be that I am imitating what I think Shlomo would do, it really doesn’t matter. I only want to be connected.

It’s Gevald! There are people who didn’t know Shlomo, who never met him, and who never even heard him perform, yet they are all thirsting for his help to make the connection. Where does it come from?! There aren’t that many books about Shlomo nor that many books of his teachings, and he didn’t leave a yeshiva or other formal organization. The answer is that he left two things that would let him come to Jews who couldn’t come to him. He left as many sweet and Holy Yidden as he could possibly find and connect and he left his music. And he left each for the other. Where one couldn’t get to or reach the other one would, and when one started stumbling the other would pick him up – the song the Jew and the Jew the song.

More than anything Shlomo wants us to hear the song and to know that the song of Shlomo is God’s Holy song and that God’s Holy song is the Torah. More than it was given at Sinai we, the Holy Jewish people, brought it into the world because we want the world to have God’s love. We want the world to have it and we want it for God’s sake. God’s Torah is a Holy love song, one song of eternal longing for eternal connection, one song of God and the Jewish people, one song of eternal love of eternal lovers. Shlomo sang God’s love song and he taught us to hear it and sing it. With the help of our Holy Rebbe we are continually bringing God’s Holy song into the world and once a year we return to sit at God’s feet and listen as the Master of the Universe sings His Holy song again.

Peace and blessings for a Holy Shavuot,
Daniel Eliezer

* * *
What I write doesn't invite comments within the topic, but I do want you to know
that all are welcome to write me should you have any questions or comments.
I can be reached at: d.e.ben.eitan@gmail.com.
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