Jewish Holidays

The Laws and the Service of Shavuot

June 30, 2006, by

Rabbi Shimon said, ‘Pesach and Sukkot, which do not fall during times that work is done in the fields, this one (Pesach) is seven days, and the other (Sukkot), eight. Atzeret (Shavuot), which falls at a time when work is done in the fields, is only one day – to teach that the Torah has […]

The Heavenly Debate

June 30, 2006, by

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said, “When Moshe was in Heaven (for all practical purposes, the top of Mt. Sinai was the same as Heaven, when Moshe went up to receive the Torah), the Angels protested before G-d, “What is the son of a woman doing up here?” G-d answered them, “He is here to take […]

Bringing the First Fruit

June 30, 2006, by

“You shall bring the First-Fruits of your Land to the House of Hashem your G-d…” (Shemot 23,19) One of the names of the Holiday of Shavuot, is “Chag HaBikkurim,” “The Holiday of the First Fruits.” This refers to the “mitzvah,” or Torah-command, to Jewish farmers to bring to the Temple their first fruits, from the […]

Offering the Torah to the Nations

June 30, 2006, by

The Torah was Offered to the Nations “Hashem miSinai ba VeZarach miSeir lamo, hofia meHar Paran…” “Hashem Came from Mt. Sinai – Having Shone Forth from Mt. Seir, and Appeared at Mt. Paran” (Devarim 33:2) Lest the nations of the World complain that Hashem was unfair in not offering the Torah to the rest of […]

A Poetic Description of the Giving of the Torah

June 30, 2006, by

“You were Revealed in Your Cloud of Glory…” (Mussaf Prayer of Rosh HaShanah) The following is the translation of the introduction to the “Shofarot” Prayer, which is one of three special prayers: “Malchiyot” (Kingliness), “Zichronot” (Remembrances) and “Shofarot” (Sounds of the Shofar) incorporated into the Mussaf Prayer of Rosh HaShanah: “You were revealed in Your […]

The Ten Commandments

June 30, 2006, by

The Ten Commandments “I am Hashem your G-d…” (Shemot 20,2) (Much of the material in this section is adapted with permission, from Sefer HaTodaah of Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov) “Maamad Har Sinai” – The Stand at Mt. Sinai When the Jewish People stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai, and accepted the Torah, was probably the […]

“Naaseh V’Nishma”

June 30, 2006, by

“We will do first, and afterwards, understand” (Shemot 24:7) (Much of the material in this section is adapted with permission, from Sefer HaTodaah of Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov) The following are Midrashic comments on the somewhat rash declaration of faith and trust, cited above, by the People of Israel in Hashem: Rabbi Simai expounded: “When the […]

Preparation for Receiving the Torah

June 30, 2006, by

“You shall set boundaries for the People roundabout, saying, Beware of ascending the mountain or touching its edge; whoever touches the mountain shall surely die” (Shemot 19:12) Initial Preparations On the second and third days of Sivan, Hashem told Moshe to tell the Jewish People, “You have seen what I did to Egypt, and how […]

The Story of Shavuot

June 30, 2006, by

What is the Story of Shavuot? The “stories” of many things, their background and purpose, can be told by explaining what they are called. To a great extent, this is true in general of the Jewish holidays and, in particular, it is true of the holiday of Shavuot. The names of this holiday are: “Chag […]

Hallel

June 29, 2006, by

Hallel consists of six Psalms (113-118), which are said as a unit, on joyous occasions, when the praise of G-d is particularly appropriate, immediately following the Shacharit “Shemoneh Esrei.” These occasions include the following: The three “major” festivals, Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot, the term “major” meaning that the festival is mentioned in the “Chamishei Chumshei […]