A Celebration of the Obvious by Chaim Strauss


In just a few days, when Sefirat HaOmer is completed, we will celebrate Shavuot.  The Meshech Chochmah comments that this Chag commemorates the giving of not only the Halachic aspect of the Torah (particularly Chukim), for which we would never have felt a need had the Torah not established it, but also of the Halachot which make sense to the human mind (Mishpatim).  These Halachot include such laws as compassion for the unfortunate and Tzedakah for the poor.  We celebrate Chag HaShavuot as a statement that without following Hashem and His set laws, people would become like Chayot, wild beasts, which have no compassion and are thus capable of committing terrible crimes to satisfy their desires.  The giving of the Torah was thus critical even for basic laws of human morals.  For example, the Torah commands us to observe Leket and Pe’ah, Halachot that require us to leave a portion of our harvest for the poor.  Only through the Torah’s Mitzvot would we think to show such sensitivity.  Only if we abide by such Halachot may we declare the Chag of Shavuot as a holy time – we must give thanks to Hashem even for such understandable and seemingly obvious commandments of Tzedakah and compassion on fellow Jews because, had the Torah not been given, we may never have observed them.

A Day of Dairy by Dov Rossman

Torah Times Two by Shmuel Reece