120 Words – Shavuos a Free for All
There are limits to the duties a child is obligated to their parent.
Similarly there are limits to the duties that citizens are obligated to their government.
Every society or community will set boundaries
and in every case there will be those who test the limits of those boundaries.
Is not the measure of a healthy civil society the degree to which it tolerates those who test its limits? and the degree to which it will re-evaluate its boundaries, its axioms and assertions?
Shavuos is the festival that celebrates Gd giving the Torah to the Jewish people. Many are surprised, after all it all ended in the disaster of the golden calf.
Indeed this is true but that is not what we are commemorating nor celebrating.
Torah was given to ALL the Jewish people
EVERYONE witnessed and participated
As our Sages OBM reflect – Gd gave the Torah in a wilderness because it was not an exclusive affair
Gd gives the Torah to every individual
to argue and
to communicate thereby with Gd
THIS is what we celebrate, that Torah is ours and no one has a greater natural share in it than another. Those who toil in Torah, who immerse themselves, analyse, argue, ponder and pry – they are the “owners” of the Torah – Gd says about them, “They are partners with me in the creation of the universe”
This is the celebration of Shavuos