‘SHAVUOT (PENTECOST),’ by German painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, 1880.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
On Saturday night, the Jewish nation will begin celebrating Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, also known as Zman Matan Torateinu, “the time of giving our Torah.” On this day more than 3,300 years ago, the Jewish nation stood at the foot of Mount Sinai and experienced a public revelation – the only one in human history. They heard the Ten Commandments, the foundation of Judaism, which were then written on the two tablets of the covenant. On this day, an eternal, irrevocable covenant was sealed between two parties: the Creator of the universe, the all-capable manager of all reality; and a nation who had just been liberated from slavery, lacking a homeland or unique cultural life, a people whose past was anything but glorious and whose future was clouded with uncertainty. Total asymmetry. This is how the Jewish nation was formed and how it embarked on a long journey which continues to this day.