Contributed by: R. Yaacob Savdie
Shabuoth: Simply Timeless
By Rabbi Yaacob Savdie
If one wishes to learn about our Jewish Holidays, he should read through chapter twenty-three of Vayikra. This portion is better known as Parashat Hamo'adim and describes the holidays in great detail. For each holiday the Torah specifies its' name & date, its' meaning, and the mitzvoth (rituals) associated with it. If one reads carefully he will find that this holds true for of the holidays but one. There is no date found for Shabuot.
Although we refer to Shabuot as "zeman matan toratenu" the Torah refers to it Hag Hakasir or Hag Habikkurim. In fact, nowhere does the Torah mention that Shabuot is the day upon which Am Yisrael received the Torah at Mt. Sinai. Why did the Torah omit the main theme of Shabuot?
Rav Yitzhak Arama, a 16th Century philosopher, gives an enlightening answer. The receiving of the Torah is not a one-time event. We were only given the Torah once, but we must continue to receive it every single day, at every moment. This is the command Hashem gave to Yehoshua, "This book of the Torah shall not depart from your mouth and you must study it day and night (Joshua 1:8)." Hence, the Torah didn't assign a specific date to our receiving of the Torah because it's an ongoing occurrence.
When a person performs an activity for an extended period of time it tends to become monotonous. We must not allow this to happen with the Torah. Just as Am Yisrael was overjoyed on the day they received the Torah, so to we should rejoice each time we learn Torah. We can accomplish this by continuously learning and innovating in the Torah. The mitzvah of Talmud Torah is a life-long task. One must try to uncover as much of the Torah as he can. Each innovation is like a new Matan Torah and should be accompanied by a celebration. Every day of one's life should be a Hag Matan Torah. The holiday of Shabuot should be spent internalizing these ideas and thinking how they can be applied in our daily life.