Thursday, May 13, 2010

225 - Shavuos

How are we to prepare for the Yom Tov of Shavuos? Rav Wolbe (Alei Shur vol. II pg. 402) writes that we can glean the answer from the days of Sefira leading up to Shavuos. Counting day after day brings to mind the pasuk in Tehillim (90, 12), "Teach us to count our days so that we will acquire a heart of wisdom." If we learn how to properly count each day, we will succeed in acquiring a heart full of wisdom. The Mashgiach enlightens us with the following explanation of this pasuk.

With regarding the heavenly manna which fell on a daily basis, Chazal (Shemos Rabbah 25, 13) tell us that Hashem acts with us in the same manner that we ourselves act. The Torah was given with the intention that it be studied each and every day. Since Bnei Yisroel fulfilled this commandment properly, Hashem provided them with the manna which fell each and every day.

Chazal revealed to us that aside from the general mitzvah to study Torah, there is yet another aspect of Torah that must affect our daily lives. Just as in a store we are given bags to fill with produce, so too, we are given days to fill with Torah. Hashem creates the world anew each morning, and hence, each day provides an opportunity for Torah study that never existed before, and regardless of what we did yesterday or will do tomorrow, our job is to fill the present day with Torah.

However, this seems to be a novel approach. Doesn't the pasuk state explicitly that we are to study Torah not so much with the intention of filling our days but rather in order that, "These words should be on your heart?" The answer is that both ideas are true. If a person is thirsty, he will fill a cup with water and drink it, for without a cup one cannot drink. Likewise, if one is thirsty for Torah, he must fill his days with Torah because the days are the cup that enables him to quench the thirst felt in his heart. If we properly "count our days" and fill each one with Torah, we will acquire a "heart full of wisdom."

On Shavuos, we will once again accept the Torah. A true acceptance of the Torah means that avodas Hashem will take a central place in our lives, and we will do our utmost to fill each and every day with a substantial amount of Torah, mitzvos, tefillah, and chessed. One who fulfills this obligation will merit the reward mentioned at the end of the above Medrash. "Moreover, I will bless you each and every day as the pasuk states, 'He will fill you day after day with the blessings of Hashem.'"

Gut Yom Tov!

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