May 2020: Shavu’ot Message

The Festival of Shavu’ot – literally ‘weeks’ – occurs 7 weeks from Passover. No actual date is named in the Torah for the occurrence of Shavu’ot, but rather only a counting of days from one holiday to the other.  Shavu’ot is also known as an atzeret – an end to the period that began on Passover.

We’ve all been counting days and weeks and months for a while now, looking forward with great anticipation to liberation and freedom. While Pesach reminds us of the centrality of freedom for human dignity, Shavu’ot goes further to remind us of the centrality of God’s laws for human responsibility. While we keep counting towards the atzeret of this current period, and although no end-date is yet clear, we are surely moving with ever-greater determination and Godly inspiration towards liberation. Let us do so with confidence, true wisdom, mindfulness of our divinely-given gift of freedom, Torah-inspired responsibility, reasoned consideration, and sacred vision.

Chag sameiach – happy Shavu’ot!


Rabbi Pearl