Sacred Time Sivan #3

It was the last Shavuot before the serious strife against Reb Nosson, z”l, began. Eighty people gathered together with him, serving Hashem with indescribable intensity. After Shavuot was over, Reb Nosson said, “We have received the Torah. Now let’s be careful not to build a golden calf.”

But what does this mean? In Likutei Halachot Reb Nosson explores this question: We need to believe that everything that occurs is a direct result of Hashem’s will. We must nullify our own will to Hashem’s, and we need to muster great reserves of our will to serve Hashem, since this is the main element of Judaism. But our physicality tends to weaken our resolve and push us to want things that are counterproductive to our spiritual growth. This doubt is a reflection of the uncertainty of the Jewish people when Moshe didn’t descend from Sinai when they expected. Instead of waiting patiently, they panicked and didn’t resist when the lower elements among them fashioned the golden calf.

We must choose. Either we wait patiently, yearning for Hashem the entire time, even after it seems like our deliverance should have come long ago. Or we allow the self-doubt to take us over and fail to resist when the rebellious part of ourselves seeks to fashion its own golden calf. Now that we have received the Torah anew, we need to hold tight to it.

Dear G-d, help me to wait patiently until I come to serve You fully.
Please anchor me with trust in You, so that I can devote myself
to living in accordance with Your will.


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