Taking the Har Sinai Challenge
June 7, 2024

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When you think about Shavuos, what thoughts pop into your mind?

For some, it might be the all-night learning experience. For others, it might be envisioning what it must have been like to stand at Har Sinai as the Torah was given. And yes, there are always the less lofty thoughts of a yom tov that is short and sweet compared to Pesach and Succos, and whether you love them or hate them, dairy meals and plenty of cheesecake. But as Shavuos nears, I find myself pondering other themes, and wondering what exactly we are commemorating on the sixth and seventh days of the month of Sivan.

Shavuos is a time of renewal, a holiday when we as a people entered a new phase of life as part of the deal when we were given the Torah. At that incredible moment in time, we know that the Jewish nation stood together k’ish echad b’lev echad – like one person, with one heart. Not a single member of our people was alone at that moment, as the thunder crashed, the lightning struck, and Hashem revealed Himself to us in all of His glory.

Shavuos also teaches a lesson in resilience. The story of Rus is an unusual one – telling how a member of the Moabite royal family who converted to Judaism suddenly found herself facing heartbreak and incredible adversity. Logically, Rus should have just thrown in the proverbial towel right then and there. Her husband was gone and the new life she hoped to lead was in shambles - there was literally no reason she shouldn’t have gone back to her former life. Yet what did Rus do? She declared openly and proudly that she was sticking with Naomi (insert your favorite mother-in-law joke here), refusing to leave her alone in her unfathomable grief after losing her two sons. There is no doubt that Rus is the poster child for resilience in a time of adversity.

Those themes of renewal, revelation, unity, and resilience that are so inherent in the yom tov of Shavuos provide timely and powerful messages. There are people in our communities today whose lives are the opposites of these concepts. Far from being renewed, their lives are spiraling in a downward direction, while revelation and unity are foreign concepts as they suffer in silence, feeling utterly alone. Any reserves of resilience they may have once possessed are buried deep inside them, hidden under layers of sorrow.

And maybe that is what we need to keep in mind this Shavuos.

Each one of us must do our part to help those who are struggling get a new lease on life, the same way our lives were forever uplifted at Har Sinai 3,336 years ago. We need to channel that sense of unity that we experienced during Matan Torah and make sure that no one in our community is ever alone. And most of all, we need to help those who are struggling to emerge from the shadows of pain, helping them channel their legacy from Rus - their inner resilience - giving them the fortitude and support they need to chase away the darkness.

Let’s all come full circle this Shavuos, opening our hearts to each other, so that we can once again stand before Hashem, united and proud, knowing that we’ve been there in every way possible for our brothers and sisters.

We were k’ish echad b’lev echad all those years ago at Har Sinai.
Are you ready to take the Har Sinai Challenge and do it again today?
I’m hoping the answer is yes. Because Klal Yisroel really needs you.

Week Ending June 7, 2024
54 New Matters Addressed This Week
Across 2 Countries Worldwide,
7 sates and 26 in the USA

Each week, Amudim fields calls covering a wide range of crises and addressing various human concerns, including addiction, depression, abuse, health and domestic emergencies and many others. We track the calls and breakdown of issues for many reasons, foremost of which is to consistently improve and strengthen our knowledge and ability to address community’s needs.


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