May 9, 2002
So, what's Shavuot all about? The name means "Weeks", but you will see in the puzzle below that it has different names. The holiday is called "weeks" because we have counted 7 weeks from Pesach to reach it. On Passover we were freed from slavery, but on Shavuot, we received, as free people, the responsibility and honor of the Torah.
Just because you are free, does not mean you have no responsibilities. In fact, the opposite is true. The older you get, the more free you become (you can walk to the mall by yourself; you can make your own snack), but you have more responsibilities (you are careful when you cross the street; you put away the bread and mustard).
The people of Israel had some growing up time to do in that 49 day period.Â Later, they had set-backs -- the Golden Calf, and many more. You will have setbacks too -- but, keep your eye and heart on the road to freedom, and you will find yourself stronger and wiser at the end of it.