Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2022
“The Sinaic revolution, by demanding a belief in one God, without form or shape, who was the sole creator of the universe, who willed the cosmos into existence and invested humanity with the power to choose to do good or evil, overturned the existing belief systems of great empires. Monotheism has outlasted the Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians and Babylonians.”
On the festival of Shavuot, Jews all over the world celebrate God’s revealing of the Torah to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai. Whether a Jew believes that this revelation is a one-time event that occurred more than 3,000 years ago or chooses to see the composition of the Torah as a divinely inspired human endeavor that took place over many centuries, the message of Shavuot is that the Jewish people have a responsibility to accept the Torah anew in each generation.
If the Jew abdicates the mission of assuming the yoke of Torah, Jewish faith and tradition will atrophy and disappear. In each generation, the Jew has an obligation to follow and interpret the Torah, assuring that the Sinaic tradition will endure and never die out.
Breaking the mold if idol worship: revolution
Yet, Shavuot is not only a holiday concerned with maintaining millennia-old tradition. God’s revelation of Torah, whether as an event in Jewish history or as an imaginative component of Jewish memory, was and still is truly revolutionary. The ancient world of the Israelites was one of idolatry and polytheism. Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians and Canaanites worshiped gods of wood and stone, and deities of thunder and fertility, who resembled human beings in many ways. … [To read the full article, click here]