Home Jewish Holidays Shavuot: Connecting to HaShem through the Torah

Shavuot: Connecting to HaShem through the Torah

by Chaim Kramer

This Tuesday night begins the festival of Shavuos. Shavuos translates as “weeks,” and it comes to us following seven weeks of counting the Omer. These seven weeks contain 49 days. Our Sages teach that there are Fifty Gates of Wisdom, of which only 49 are attainable by an average person. Similarly, there are 49 Levels of Holiness as well as 49 Levels of Impurity. The Jews in Egypt had descended so low that they were in the 49th level of impurity. Thus, we are commanded to count 49 days in order to ascend each day from impurity, and at the same time, ascend each day to the levels of holiness and purity. Then we can reach the 50th Level and be pure and able to receive the Torah.

What is the Torah? A guide, HaShem’s guide to us on how to live in this material world! Reb Noson explains (Shiluach HaKen 4) that a MiTzVah (which shares the root, TzeVet, meaning “to join”) is a command from HaShem and it is THE means for a person to be able to “join” and become connected to HaShem. No matter what level a person is on, by doing a mitzvah, any mitzvah, he connects himself to HaShem. Thus, the Torah was given as the means for us to connect with HaShem.

This is Shavuos. We have celebrated our freedom from Egypt and its culture. We have attempted to ascend the spiritual ladder of purity. And now we are prepared to join and connect with Hashem. How? Through the Torah. HaShem, in His Kindness, gave us the tool to be able to connect to Him. This is the value of Shavuos, where any of us can connect with God by studying His Torah, His wisdom, and fulfilling His commands. It may sound simple, but it’s not that simple. But neither is it that complicated.

The Jews have been a nation for over 3,000 years! If you study history, you will see that wherever any Jew left the Torah, you will not find any forthcoming generations. Even today, with so many Jews not aware of their religion, just go back a few generations and you will find observant Jews among their ancestors. Just a few generations. Without that, these Jews would never be considered Jews! Thus, it is due to the observance of Torah that even non-religious Jews can proudly proclaim they are Jewish.

This is the power of Torah. A Heavenly power that fills a person with purpose and a will to continue life despite all the attempts to wipe out Judaism from the world. It is what sustains us even to this very day.

This is what Shavuos is to us. A festival to rejoice with God’s gift to us. A festival to return to our roots and learn to enjoy our special connection to HaShem.

Have a great Yom Tov!

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