Shavuos: Putting a little bit of Heaven into our lives
Rebbetzin Tziporah Carlebach Chabad of Lyndhurst
Hashem descended upon Mount Sinai to the top of the mountain; Hashem summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses ascended. (Exodus 19:20)
וַיֵּרֶד ה' עַל־הַר סִינַי אֶל־רֹאשׁ הָהָר וַיִּקְרָא ה' לְמשֶׁה אֶל־רֹאשׁ הָהָר וַיַּעַל משֶׁה. (שמות יט:כ)
I will share a teaching of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Shavuos is the day the world could never live without. The Talmud1 tells us that the Creator of the world said, “If the Jews don’t accept the Torah, I will have to destroy the world.” Because the world without the Torah is G-dless, purposeless and hopeless. Every individual in his/her own little world has to ask him/herself, “Have I received the Torah to such a degree that my world should not fall apart?”
Look at our civilised world with all its infinite knowledge: it’s a dead world. Peace without being connected to the Torah doesn’t last and has no meaning,
You know, when I see an anti-Semite, I’m sad. But when I see a Jew who doesn’t know what it is to be a Jew, I feel destroyed and heartbroken. Every year a new Torah is coming from Heaven. It’s the same Torah but so much deeper and so much more alive. What we didn’t do in a lifetime, we can do Tikkun night. This year, Tikkun night, we will be up all night learning, praying and singing, initiating a new world which cannot be destroyed, the big world of all mankind and the little world of you and me.
The Torah is from Heaven. Not from a Heaven which is far from earth, but from a Heaven which is right here, the Torah Heaven. It’s not a light which can be darkened by darkness, it is the light of the Torah which turns the darkness into light.
On Shavuos, the Torah says: “G-d came down from Heaven.”2 On this night, in this early morning, G-d is coming to every individual Jew, and through us, hopefully to the whole world, to put a little bit of Heaven into our lives. Please stay up all night and study Torah until dawn. We can’t do without you! We need all of Israel!
May the light of Shavuos go with us all year! If you don’t know how to carry it, G-d is giving out shopping bags on request. We may not be with a congregation; but we are not alone. We are part of all of Israel, learning and praying for redemption, Amen.
Talmud, Shabbat 88a; Talmud, Avoda Zara 3a