3,325 Years Ago, On Shavuot,
God gave His Torah on Mount Sinai. Shavuot begins at sunset on May 14th,
Tuesday, Yom Shleeshee, ”third day” יום שלישי, ending on the evening of May
"AND ALL THE PEOPLE SAW
THE SOUNDS ”HaKOLOT..." Also translated "voices, thunderings".
”ve-kol-ha-am roim et-ha-kolot” וְכָל-הָעָם רֹאִים אֶת-הַקּוֹלֹת (
All the People Saw the
Sounds - HOW?
By Yaakov Guggenheim, engineer: When I saw the verse in Exodus:
"And all the people saw the sounds..." I asked myself how it was
possible to see the sounds, and what did the people of Israel actually see at Mount
According to Rashi: "They saw the audible". If so, it must be
possible to convert sound waves into an image...
According to one commentator, the Kli Yakar: The people of Israel saw the
"Guggenheim discovered that the sound waves for 17 out of the 22 letters
of the Hebrew alphabet create an on-screen image very similar to the written
Another scientist, who has made a very similar discovery, is Chayim
Ben-Harav-Chai Elbeze. In 1997, he used software called Gram.x to display
visually the pronounciations (sound to image) of the Hebrew letters. His
amazing findings are also displayed here: The coming Revolution: Science
Discovers the Truths of the Bible By Zamir Cohen (Amazon.com).
LISTEN FOR FREE: Bearers of
the Torch! An Encounter With Mt. Sinai By
Rabbi Tovia Singer:
the past 2,000 years, the church loudly declared that the unique role of the
Jews as guardians of the sacred scriptures and witnesses to the divine oracles
of God has ended.
As if with one voice, the
Church Fathers and Reformers insisted that the commandments prescribed in the
Torah became obsolete, and the Jewish people are lost, wallowing in spiritual
blindness because they rejected the Cross.
Is this a legitimate
claim? The Bible declares that the role of the Chosen People is eternal
and we are mandated to be "witnesses" for all time. What did we
witness? How can we bear testimony?
ON THIS DAY THERE WAS A DIVINE REVELATION and the human race acquired the Torah
During this Holiday Jewish men traditionally spend all night studying Torah.
DOES SHAVUOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH NOAHIDES?
Absolutely, the giving of
the Torah also refers to the re-giving of the Noahide laws. God entrusted Israel
with the Noahide laws until the nations of the world were ready to accept their
responsibility and keep these laws.
Shavuot is an opportunity for all Gentiles to study the Torah of the Nations –
the Noahide Laws:
Included in the Torah Law are the details of G-d’s directives that all Gentiles are commanded to observe the Seven Noahide Commandments, according to their details as He specified to Moses (asknoah.org).
According to Judaism (Talmud - Sanhedrin 58b), any person can achieve a
place in the World to Come by faithfully observing the seven basic laws of
Peace will come to the world when the nations are ready to return to the
path that they deviated from, embrace God's Torah and the Seven Laws of
COME INTO THE ARK: "And the dove came in to him at eventide; and lo in her mouth
an olive-leaf freshly plucked;.." (Genesis 8:11, 7:1). She returned to the ark,
sheltering Noah and his family, and two members (male and female) of each animal
The Hebrew word for "ark," TEIVAH, also means "word." "Come into the word,"
says G-d; enter within the words of prayer and Torah study. Here you will find a
sanctuary of wisdom, meaning and holiness amidst the raging floodwaters of life
(Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov).
Also the future redemption of Israel from the hordes of Gog, the prince of
Magog (all the wicked nations) is described as taking place "towards the
EVENING" (Zech. 14:7, Tzeph. 2:7).
”THE BOOK OF RUTH IS
READ ON SHAVUOS, the time of the giving of the Torah, so that we might know
that the written Torah and the Orally transmitted Torah are one and cannot
exist without each other.
The Orally transmitted Torah – i.e., the capacity
to interpret the Torah and render decisions in matters that are in doubt or
that are questions of judgment.”
Deuteronomy 17:8-12 ”If a matter eludes you in
judgment, between (ritual clean) blood and (ritual unclean) blood, between
judgment/plea/verdict (of innocent) and judgment/plea/verdict (of guilty), or
between (ritual clean) lesion/plague and (ritual unclean) lesion/plague, words
of dispute (controversy) in your cities, then you shall rise and go up to the
place the Lord, your God, chooses.
And you shall come to the Levitic kohanim and to
the judge who will be in those days, and you shall inquire, and they will tell
you the words of judgment. And you shall do according to the word they tell
you, from the place the Lord will choose, and you shall observe to do according
to all they instruct you.
According to the law they instruct you and
according to the judgment they say to you, you shall do; you shall not divert
from the word they tell you, either right or left. And the man who acts
intentionally, not obeying the kohen who stands there to serve the Lord, your
God, or to the judge that man shall die, and you shall abolish evil from
”Through the sages’ knowledge of the Orally
transmitted Torah they were able to deduce that the prohibition of marrying
converts from Moab applied only to males.
Through this deduction, the family of David, was
anointed for all generations. This entire fabric of Israel rests on the Davidic
line and this foundation could have been established only through the authority
of the orally transmitted Torah (Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov).
LISTEN FOR FREE: The Oral Law -part 1 & 2 By
Rabbi Tovia Singer: More than 3,300 years ago, God transmitted to Moses both
the Written and Oral Law.
What is the Oral Law and why was it transmitted
Missionaries claim that although the Written Law is the word of God,
the Oral Law was a mischievous invention of the rabbis! Is this claim really
true or is the Oral Law divinely inspired?
KINDNESS BEGETS KINDNESS: The lesson of the Book of
Ruth which we read on the morning of the festival of Shavuos, is that no deed
no act is forgotten, the deeds of mortals can become
part of His plan.
ESHET CHAYIL is a special
Shabbat song in honor of the Jewish woman.
”A woman of
valor אֵשֶׁת חַיִל who can find, for her price is beyond pearls” (Proverbs
"A virtuous woman אֵשֶׁת חַיִל is the crown of
but an embarrassing one (whose deeds are shameful) is like rot in
his bones" (Proverbs 12:4).
A house (the body) is built with wisdom, and it is established with understanding.
With knowledge, the rooms (chambers within) are filled with all riches, precious and pleasant.
A wise man is with strength, and a man of knowledge maintains strength"
WISDOM SHALL ENTER YOUR HEART:
My son, if you accept my words, and treasure my commandments,
to make your ear attentive to wisdom, [if] you incline your heart to discernment;
for, if you call for understanding [and] raise your voice for discernment,
if you seek it like silver, and hunt for it like treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord (DEPART FROM EVIL), and you will find the knowledge of God.
YOUR TREASURE WITHIN: For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth [come] knowledge and discernment. He
lays up sound wisdom for the upright, a shield for those who walk in integrity;
to keep the paths of justice, and watch the way of His
Then you shall understand righteousness, justice, and equity, every good path.
When wisdom comes into your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to your soul,
thought shall watch over you; discretion shall guard you,
to save you from an evil way. From a man who speaks perversity;
from those who forsake the ways of uprightness, to go on ways of darkness;
[from] those who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the perversity of evil,
who are crooked in their ways and perverse in their paths..."
(Proverbs Ch. 2).
EXPRESSION OF DISRESPECT AND DEHUMANIZING:
rebel hacks dead soldier's body, eats heart on
Revered rebel leader Abu Sakkar calls out 'I
swear to God we'll eat your hearts,' to cheering of his men; civil war death
toll rises to 94,000 (Ynetnews, 05.14.13).
In one of the more shocking
videos released in the Syrian civil war, Syrian Rebel commander Abu Sakkar, known
to journalists and revered by many rebels, was shown on Sunday cutting organs
out of a dead soldier and biting into his heart. Addressing the camera as he
ripped the flesh, Abu Sakkar said: "I swear to God we will eat your hearts
and your livers," he warned President Bashar Assad’s
was a founding member of the Farouq Brigade, one of the main rebel units in Syria,
but has since formed his own
battalion as the opposition fragments. In the mosaic of hundreds of opposition
groups, Sakkar's men are seen as neither secular nor hardline Islamists, but as
some of the hardiest fighters.
Leenders, an associate professor in the war studies department of King's College
says that these brutal
displays are used as a tool of war by both sides. "It's the ultimate
expression of disrespect and dehumanizing your opponent," he said.
When king Solomon speaks of a
good woman, he is alluding to the Torah, and when he speaks of a promiscuous
woman, he is alluding to idolatry.
Proverbs 6:23-24: "For A
COMMANDMENT IS A CANDLE and THE TORAH IS LIGHT, and disciplining rebukes (תּוֹכְחוֹת מוּסָר TOCHACHOT MUSSAR; see
Leviticus Ch. 26, Deut. Ch. 28) ARE THE WAY OF
LIFE; to GUARD YOU FROM an evil woman (IDOLATRY), from the smoothness of the
The forbidden woman, “strange
woman” i.e., Heresy, Apostasy (Proverbs 5:3); is the Evil Inclination
THE WISDOM OF THE TORAH: "
Fortunate is the man who has found wisdom and a man who gives forth discernment,
for its commerce is better than the commerce of silver, and its gain [is better] than fine gold;
it is more precious than pearls, and all your desirable things cannot be compared to it.
Length of days is in its right hand; in its left hand are riches and honor.
Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace.
It is a tree of life for those who grasp it, and those who draw near it are fortunate" (Proverbs 3:1-18).
And the LORD God said: 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know
good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the
tree of life, and eat, and live for ever'
NOTHING TWISTED OR CROOKED IN THE TORAH:
"To you, O men, I call, and my voice [is] to the children of man.
O simpletons, understand cunning, and you fools, give understanding to your heart.
Hearken for I will speak noble things, and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
For my palate shall utter truth, and wickedness is an abomination of my lips.
All the sayings of my lips are with righteousness; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all true to the understanding one, and straight to those who find knowledge.
Take my discipline and not silver; knowledge is chosen above gold.
For wisdom is better than pearls; all desirable things cannot be compared to it" (Proverbs 8:4-11).
The word חַיִל CHAYIL as used in Scripture implies
more than just valor: it includes the possession of whatever attributes are
needed to carry out the task at hand...
All praise her - but her greatest praise is her
deeds: "Give her the fruits of her hands; and let her be praised in the
gates by her very own deeds" (Proverbs 31:10-31).
She needs no praise. Her deeds are the most
eloquent testimony to her greatness, as is said of Ruth (2:11-13): ”...and she
said to him (Boaz), "Why have I pleased you that you should take
cognizance of me, seeing that I am a foreigner?"
The Book of Ruth relates the
story of a Moabite woman who left her homeland and came to the land of Israel
as a convert to Judaism. There she lived in abject poverty, searching for food
for herself and her widowed, elderly mother-in-law, Naomi (Tanach).
Why did Boaz show such exceptional
kindness going beyond the letter of his obligations under the laws of LEKET (the
practice of kindness and charity, gifts to the poor, see Leviticus 19:9-10,
23:22, Deut 24:19, Ruth 2:15) to Ruth; a poor, stranger (convert), widow?
"And Boaz replied and said to her, "It has been
told to me all that you did for your mother-in-law after your husband's death,
and you left your father and your mother and your native land, and you went to
a people that you did not know before." Kindness begets kindness.
MAY THE LORD REWARD YOUR DEEDS, and may your reward
be full from the Lord God of Israel, under Whose wings you have come to take
Ruth 3:10 ”And he said, "May you be blessed of
the Lord, my daughter; your latest act of kindness is greater than the first
(that you did with your mother-in-law), not to follow the young men, whether
poor or rich.
And now, my daughter, do not fear, all that you say
I will do for you, for the entire gate of my people know that you are אֵשֶׁת
חַיִל ESHET CHAYIL a valiant /virtuous woman”.
In the merit of Boaz'
kindness to Ruth, she becomes attached to him and bears him a son who fathers
the father of Mashiach. ”...and they called his name Obed; he is the father of
Jesse, the father of David” (Ruth 4:17).
The book of Ruth centers on the theme of embrace of
the Torah itself through conversion and the practice of the Kindness it
teaches, which is the very pillar of the Universe.
It is the union of Torah and Kindness that leads to
redemption. Ruth is the archetypal convert who accepts the Torah. Her need to
benefit from the agricultural gifts to the poor, an integral part of the
pathway of kindness it teaches, leads her to the field of Boaz.
Poverty and humility are the attributes
that God chose as the most fitting vessel through which to receive His Torah!
out full but HaShem has brought me back empty."
Having returned to Israel, Naomi is now the very epitome of poverty, lowliness and humility, and with
her is Ruth, the former princess, who must now go out into the field to gather
fallen gleanings in order to survive (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).
conversion steps taken by Ruth, are also taken by converts today, derived from
the steps taken by the Jewish people at Sinai by the process of receiving the
Torah on Shavuot.
The book of Ruth in the
synagogue on the morning of the festival of Shavuos, which describes the
revelation at Sinai, where all those who accepted the yoke of the Torah were
The soul of all coverts were also at Sinai:
On the last day of Moses'
life, he gathered all the Jewish people together who had wandered
with him in the desert. There, God spoke to the entire nation of Israel, and
said, "Not with you alone do I seal this covenant,
but with whoever is here,
standing with us today before the Almighty our God, and with whoever is not
here with us today." (Deuteronomy 29:13)
According to the Talmud,
"whoever is not here with us today" refers to converts who would
convert in the future. It is from this, that we derive that the soul of all
coverts were also at Sinai (Talmud - Shavuot 39a).
Yitro, Moses' father-in-law,
was a righteous convert, and his name can be found in the verse "with
whoever is here" - כִּי אֶת-אֲשֶׁר יֶשְׁנוֹ - the last letters of these
words spells Yitro יִתְרוֹ. also indicating that converts of future generations
were also there that day.
The Talmud, continuing this idea that
converts already have a Jewish soul inside of them, uses a very interesting phrase
when discussing Jewish laws of potential converts. It is written, "a convert
who comes to convert..." The phrase begs the question - why does it say "a
CONVERT who comes to convert..."? Rather, it should say, "a GENTILE
who comes to convert..."! The reason is because they already have a Jewish
spark inside of them.
Rabbi Yoel Schwartz writes in "Jewish Conversion" (Feldheim): One of the most well-known converts was the Polish nobleman,
Abraham ben Abraham. He converted to Judaism in the 18th century, and was sentenced
by the church to death. He died sanctifying God's Name.
It is said that even before
his conversion, unidentifiable feelings, which testified to the greatness of his
spirit, would overwhelm him every Sabbath.... Abraham ben Abraham traced the roots
of converts to the giving of the Torah. "Although the nations rejected the
Torah," Abraham ben Abraham is quoted as saying, "Individual members
of those nations sought to accept it. Only the refusals of their peers prevented
them from realizing their aspirations. The souls of these individuals appear in
every generation as converts"
(Rabbi Shraga Simmons).
THE WISDOM OF THE BOOK OF RUTH:
Indeed, the story of Ruth has a lot of important teachings within. The Ruth story demonstrates how all Jews should treat the
strangers among us.
Indeed, the righteous Boaz looked out for Ruth,
even though she was of foreign origin and was part of the Moabite nation
that didn’t have such a pleasant history with the Israeli nation.
behavior demonstrates how Jewish ethics teach us that we should always
look out for the misfortunate, regardless which nation they are part of
and what our history is with that nation..." (
By Rachel Avraham, United With Israel).
"Now it came to pass in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land, and a man went from Bethlehem of Judah to sojourn in the fields of Moab," (Ruth 1:1).
"The nation, descendants of Avraham, were all in need of kindness. Who was to help them in their time of distress? They all looked to the greatest man of the nation, Elimelech.
Why did Elimelech leave? He said: "Now all Israel will gather at my door, each one of them with his charity box. I shall leave and escape from them" (Ruth Rabbah 1).
To where did he flee? to dwell in the fields of Moab - to live among the descendants of the man who had left Abraham's home and had established residence in S'dom! It was there that the leader of Avraham's nation fled when his brothers were in need!" (Rabbi Eliahu Kitov).
"Boaz, by letting Ruth glean on his fields, was also ensuring that Naomi was taken care of,
even though both she and her husband abandoned Israel during a time of
famine while Boaz remained behind to help others, and even though
Naomi’s husband died because he was not generous enough with the poor.
Boaz’s treatment of Naomi teaches us that we should always take care of
our family when they are in need, especially if they are widows,
regardless what that relative has given in return... (
By Rachel Avraham, United With Israel).
”The Scroll of Ruth
that we will be reading on the holiday of Shavuot is the story of the
Jewish People living their Torah culture in their Land. Boaz is not a
yeshiva head or a famous rabbi. He is a Jew who works his land. The
working people in the Scroll of Ruth remain in their Land despite the
famine and abandonment by their leaders. They conduct themselves
according to the cultural code of faith and loving kindness that they
absorbed from the Torah and that is part of their lives. That is also
our goal; to turn our Torah into our culture” (Moshe Feiglin).
WISDOM (THE TORAH) – WHENCE WILL IT BE FOUND, and where is the place of
No mortal knows its value,
and it will not be found in the land of the living” (with one who enlivens
with one who “puts himself to death” with toil and hunger
deep says, "It is not in me," and the sea says, "It is not with
Fine gold cannot be given in
its place, neither can silver be weighed out as its price.
It cannot be praised with jewelry of Ophir, with
precious onyx and sapphire.
gold nor glass can equal it, nor is a pure golden vessel its exchange.
and crystal cannot be mentioned, and the striving for wisdom [is more precious]
than pearls. The topaz of Kush cannot equal it; it cannot be praised with
jewelry of pure gold.
Now whence does wisdom come, and where is the
place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living, and it is
concealed from the winged creatures of the heavens. Destruction and death said,
"With our ears we heard its report." God understood its way, and He
knew its place”
IF WE SEEK GOD WE
WILL FIND WISDOM: Proverbs 8:22-36 ”
was a nursling beside Him, and I was [His] delight every day, playing before
Him at all times;
playing in the habitable world of His earth, and
[having] my delights with the children of man...”
WISDOM IS A DIVINE GIFT FROM ABOVE: "For the Lord gives wisdom
(CHOCHMA);from His mouth [come] knowledge (DAAT) and discernment (TVUNAH) (Prov. 2:6).
"Indeed, it is a spirit (RUACH) in man, and the breath/soul (NISHMAT) of the Almighty permits them to understand (Job 32:8).
Wisdom [is a spirit in man] and [comes] not through days or old age, but it is the spirit of the Omnipresent (Rashi).
THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD: "The spirit (RUACH) of God made me, and the breath/soul (NISHMAT) of the Almighty keeps me alive (Job 33:4, Genesis 2:7): "And Hashem God formed the man of dust from the ground, and He blew into his nostrils the soul/breath of life (NISHMAT CHAYIM); and man become a living being/soul (NEFESH CHAYAH)."
In the words of the Zohar, "one who blows, blows from within himself," indicating that Man's soul is part of God's essence, as it were. This soul made man a living being, which Onkelos defines as a speaking spirit. Accordingly, the life that is unique to Man and which only God could "blow" into him is the rational soul that includes the power of intelligent speech. This is what elevates a human above anmal life: the ability, and therefore the responsibility, to use his intelligence in God's service.
SO PHARAOH SAID TO HIS SERVANTS, "Will we find [anyone] like this, a man in whom there is the spirit of God (RUACH ELOHIM)?"
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has let you know all this, there is no one as understanding and wise as you..." Pharaoh called Joseph's name ZAPENATH-PANEAH, Rashbam and Rashi explain interpret; "he who explains what is hidden". (Genesis 41:38-39,45).
SUPER-INTELLIGENT AND WISE:
"There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the Holy God; and in your grandfather's days, brilliance, understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of God were found in him;... Since extraordinary spirit, intelligence, understanding, interpreting of dreams, solving of riddles and resolving of difficulties have been found in Daniel...
Then Daniel was brought before the king. the king spoke up and said to Daniel, "You are Daniel, from among the people of the exile of Judah... I have heard about you that the spirit of God is in you, and that brilliance, understanding and extraordinary wisdom is found in you..."
we expect the prophets and the great men of God to observe the Oral Law if it
was invented by the rabbis of later times?
did Daniel risk his life
by keeping the Oral
Daniel, three times a day he got down on his knees to pray, giving thanks to
God, facing toward Jerusalem.
resolved not to be defiled by the king’s
(Nebuchadnezzar’s) food nor his wine. He refused to consume, non- kosher, food
and wine prepared by a gentile.
Forbidden foods dulls one's spiritual potential:
Daniel resolved not to be defiled by the king's food
or by the wine he drank, so he requested of the king's chief officer that he should not be defiled. God granted Daniel kindness and mercy before the chief officer... "Now
test your servants for ten days, and let them give us some pulse (a
type of beans) that we should eat, and water that we should drink.
And at the end of the ten days (Daniel, Hananiah,
Mishael, and Azariah), they looked handsomer and fatter than all the
youths who ate the king's food. And to these youths, the four of them,
God gave knowledge and understanding in every script and wisdom, and
Daniel understood all visions and dreams.
And the king spoke with them, and of all of
them, no one was found to equal Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah;
and they stood before the king.
And in every matter of the wisdom of
understanding that the king requested of them, he found them ten times
better than all the necromancers and astrologers in all his kingdom."