See you at Sinai
June 06, 2019
That's how I end a lot of my emails to friends and colleagues right now. Because Shavuot is coming, and at Shavuot we all stand again at Sinai to receive.
We've been counting down the 49 days to Shavuot ever since the second night of Pesach. In a few short days that Omer journey will be complete. We will again have made the inner trek from freedom to revelation, from Pesach's new beginning to the relationship-with-the-Holy that we took on at Sinai.
It's a relationship that we continue to take on. No relationship can be sustained with one moment of agreement. Our covenant with God is evolving and ongoing, as our relationship with God needs to be evolving and ongoing.
(If the G-word doesn't work for you, substitute something else: truth, meaning, love, justice, hope, transformation. "God" represents all of these and more.)
And our relationship with Torah is ongoing. Shavuot is called zman mattan Torateinu, "The time of the giving of our Torah." Not the time when it was given, but the time when it is given.
Torah is still being given. Revelation is ongoing -- as Reb Zalman z"l taught, the divine broadcast is perennial, and we receive on the channels where our inner spiritual radios are attuned.
Torah is still being given. Shavuot is a time of opening ourselves to receive what's coming through.
Midrash teaches that we were all present at Sinai. All of our souls were at Sinai for that experience of connection with our Source: every Jew who has ever been and will ever be. (Yes, including those who choose Judaism! If you join yourself with the Jewish people, then your soul was at Sinai too.) We were all there at Sinai in that moment of mythic time.
And we'll all stand together at Sinai again on Shavuot. On Shavuot we can seek to open ourselves to this year's revelation, to the wisdom that this moment asks of us. And when I close my eyes in meditation on Saturday night or Sunday morning, I will imagine all of us together bamidbar, in the Wilderness, at the foot of the mountain: "and you were there, and you, and you..."
So I'll see you in three days, as the holy time of Shabbes gives way to the holy time of festival.
As our Omer journey ends, and our covenant with the Holy is renewed.
As we open ourselves to the Torah that needs to come through this year. As we open ourselves to transformation, and encounter, and awe. As we open to revelation, sweet and sustaining like milk and honey.
See you at Sinai.