The Chag Of Shavuot

The Daily Halacha Moment - Shavuot & Mattan Torah ⛰ 📜


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

When is Shavuot?

When was the Torah given?


Answer:

The holiday of Shavuot is on the sixth day of Sivan, after the forty-nine days of sefirat ha’omer. [1]

We learn this from the pesukim “Count for yourself seven weeks… And make a Holiday of Weeks (Shavuot) for Hashem, your God. [2]

The Magen Avraham asks why do we label this Chag as Zeman Mattan Toratenu, the time when our Torah was given to us, since according to Reb Yossi the Torah was not given until the 7th of Sivan. The Maharsha (in his commentary to Avoda Zara 3a) offers a beautiful answer to this question. Klal Yisrael spent forty nine days cleansing themselves spiritually from the sinful influences and practices they had become accustomed to in Egypt. This cleansing process was completed only on the fiftieth day. Although they were given the Torah on the fifty first day, Hashem chose to set the date for commemorating this occasion as the fiftieth day. In this way Hashem demonstrated that perfecting oneself spiritually takes precedence to Torah study - we celebrate on the day they perfected themselves rather than the day they actually received the Torah. This concept is the essence of the lesson our Sages taught (Avot 3:9) that one's fear of sinning must precede one's wisdom. The day we call "the time when our Torah was given to us" is actually the day that we completed our spiritual preparation for receiving the Torah, not the day we received it. May we use this incredible lesson going into this Shavuot and cleanse ourselves from all of the bad Middot that we have within ourselves and serve Hashem with honor and glory.


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 494:1. See also Birkei Yosef §1 for an explanation why Shavuot is called Atzeret in the Torah.

[2]. Devarim 16:9–10.


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