Rabbi Small’s Monthly Message- June

This month, we look forward to observing the upcoming holiday of Shavuos, when we will celebrate the momentous occasion of G-d giving us the Torah over 3,000 years ago. When the Jewish people reached Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, they camped next to the mountain. The term used for their encampment is Vayichan, “and he camped”– a singular term. If the entire nation camped next to the mountain why did it say “he camped” as if it were only one person?

The commentators explain that the whole nation was like “one human with one heart”. Just as the heart unifies the body toward a single cause and purpose, the giving of the Torah did the same for the Jewish people. While they were a diverse nation with many points of view, they united to receive the Torah as one.

Although this event took place a long time ago, the message lives on today as we celebrate the Torah and integrate its teachings into our lives every day. In a sense, we relive the giving of the Torah every year on Shavuos and remember the enduring message of the holiday.

Shavuos serves as an important reminder that despite the many opinions, perspectives, and attitudes in our world, we have the ability to come together as one. We can respect each other’s viewpoints, even when they differ from our own, and find a common purpose.

At the JAA, we are blessed with the common purpose of caring for our residents, members, and patients. Together as a community, may we bring kindness, compassion, and blessing to all near and far.

-Rabbi Dovid Small