Thank you Hashem.
We thank you Hashem for Mattan Torah on that first
Shavuos, for bringing us to the foot of Mount Sinai where we
were truly one, "as one man with one heart." We are grateful
for the unforgettable experience that day -- when the whole
creation received the first two Commandments directly --
which all of us, who were immediately present in spirit,
recall at least subliminally to this day and forever.
Individually and as a nation we met our Maker in this world
and received from Him the wisdom that accompanies us through
the ages until the final Redemption and beyond.
Thank you Hashem for a Torah that gives us detailed
instructions on how to run our lives, on how to understand
and deal with life-cycle events that can be traumatic, on how
to be better people and how to relate to our families and
It is a grand body of wisdom that provides a complete
education within itself -- and for everyone from the most
limited who can understand the stories at their level to the
most capable who have vast expanses to conquer and untold
depths to plumb. It gives us the information that we need and
the training to extend and apply its principles to whatever
we may encounter.
Those who devote themselves to it and achieve even minimal
mastery enthusiastically report that it is "sweeter than
honey." It is ever-new and ever-nourishing, a constant and
daily source of inspiration and insight.
It is a Torah that brings together those who are likeminded,
and desire to grow and to improve themselves and their
environments, while it teaches us and gives us effective
techniques for keeping away from those who may, one way or
another, drag us down or hinder us in our upward journey.
The Torah defines us as a nation and unites us, across time
and across space, forming our essence in a way that
emphasizes our kinship to our fellow Jews whatever their
cultural background and external appearance. It is the Torah
that makes us one and the Torah -- an abstract body of Divine
wisdom and not any piece of land however holy it is -- that
makes us into a nation. Only if we are true to the Torah do
we have a full national identity that can give us any sort of
legitimacy among the other nations of the world.
Far from being only an effective guide to the material world,
the Torah also introduces us and brings us to the world of
the spirit. It teaches us of powers and forces such as
tumah and taharoh that have no real material
effect, as well as elevating our minds and souls to intimacy
The Torah is for us. It is Divine wisdom for human use.
Hashem has given it to us out of His love for us and for our
However, the real way to say thank you is not just by singing
its praises and explaining its benefits. That is not what
Hashem intended in giving it to us.
The proper and best way to celebrate the wonderful Torah that
we have is by doing what is says: talmud Torah keneged
kulom. The more we learn it and fully fulfill what it
says, on Shavuos and every day, the more thoroughly we
saturate ourselves with it and grow through it, the better
and more sincere is our thanks to Hashem.