The chag of Shavuot is approaching. What is the story of Shavuot, though?

Our tradition tells us that God Himself appeared to the entire Jewish nation – men, women and children; a crowd estimated at somewhere between 1.8-3 million people. (The Torah tells us there were 600,000 men aged 20-60. Multiply that to include children and seniors, and match that with the number of women…) At this monumental event, we were given our guide to life, otherwise known as the Torah. And this Torah was passed down, generation to generation, father to son, teacher to student, until the present day.

Incredibly, the Jewish people have a claim, which was not repeated in even one (!) of the thousands of known religions and cults the world over.

No known religion or cult has dared make such a claim, despite the obvious credibility it would lend their story. Apparently, such a story cannot be fabricated.

And Shavuot is when this once-in-history occurrence took place.

We celebrate Shavuot with lavish feasting and happiness, to emphasize that Torah Judaism is not a burden, but the greatest gift we could receive. The Torah is our connection to our loving Father in Heaven; our ticket to eternity.

Happy Shavuot!

By Rabbi Pinchos Fried

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