Rabbi London’s Shabbat Message (6/6/24)

Headshot of Rabbi London

Next week on Shavuot (Tuesday night, 6/11, and Wednesday, 6/12), we’ll celebrate when the Jewish people received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. For some who approach Judaism in a more rational way, it’s inconceivable that God revealed a written Torah scroll to the Israelites who had just been freed from Egyptian slavery a few months prior to their arrival at Mt. Sinai. Have no fear; even the Talmud, a central compendium of Jewish law and lore, that was redacted in the sixth century, and rabbinic commentators throughout the ages have grappled with what was revealed at Mt. Sinai! Although they have different ideas, they all imagine that when we wrestle with Jewish teachings, new ideas are revealed to us that shape our thinking and influence our behavior. These are moments we experience being at Mt. Sinai. Another lesson the rabbis taught is that the reason the Torah was revealed in the desert is because it’s an open place, meaning that the Torah is accessible to everyone.

These last eight months have been a time of great struggle, worry, and sadness, given what’s happening in Israel, Gaza, and our own community. This Shavuot, we’ll look into the Torah and see how our tradition can help us find healing in difficult times. I look forward to our being together for prayer, study, eating delicious dairy foods together, and drawing strength and sustenance from each other and our traditions.

Hag Shavuot Sameach,

Rabbi London