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May 13, 2013

Shavuot 2013 - We all stand at Sinai

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/shavuot_2013_we_all_stand_at_sinai/

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The sound of the shofar draws near. 48 days ago, G-d took us out of the house of slavery in Egypt. Only one day remains to prepare. G-d will descend onto Mount Sinai on the third day - Wednesday morning. What does it mean to stand as a people in the presence of G-d? Are we standing there now?
 
An Accidental Talmudist moment of Torah with Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz, a.k.a. "Schwartzie:"
 
AT: What do you mean when you say we are all standing at Sinai now?

Schwartzie: The essence of Shavuot, according to Jewish mysticism, is that you have an opportunity to experience now something that happened only once in all of Jewish history. The Bible says, in describing the Theophany - the great Divine Revelation, "Those of you that are here today and those of you that are not here today ARE ALL HERE TODAY." It means that every Jewish person from Abraham until the Theophany in 2448, and from 2448 until the end of time, were all present at Sinai to hear the Decalogue - the great declaration that began, "I am the Lord thy G-d." The Ten Commandments. We were all there, and every Shavuot we relive the experience because it happens again.

During the reading of the Ten Commandments in every synagogue in the world this Wednesday, the first day of Shavuot - if you prepare properly, and you meditate, and you listen to the original words read from a Torah in a holy sanctuary, you have an opportunity to experience the Theophany again.

AT: If we are standing at the foot of Sinai now, and G-d is about to descend upon us, then G-d is already here.

Schwartzie: Yes.

AT: He sees right through us; everything we've done, everything we've been, everything we are.

Schwartzie: Of course.

AT: But most of us live as if God is absent or uncaring. If we felt His presence the way we did at Sinai, we'd live differently.

Schwartzie: Yes, and who can afford such a difference?

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Salvador Litvak wrote & directed the Passover comedy and cult hit, When Do We Eat? His new film, Saving Lincoln, explores Abraham Lincoln's fiery trial as Commander-in-Chief through the eyes of his closest friend and bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon.

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