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Devar Torah - Shavuos

Thursday, 28 May, 2020 - 1:44 pm

Our Pledge of Allegiance 
By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

The wording of the Rebbe’s bracha for the Yom Tov of Shavuos; Kabbolas HaTorah b’Simcha uv’Pnimius, to receive the Torah with joy and taken internally originated with the Previous Rebbe.

One may ask that every Yom Tov is a time of simcha; why do mention simcha specifically in the bracha for the Yom Tov of Shavuos?

There is a story about a chosid named Rav Peretz (who was a melamed and known to be on a high level in the service of Hashem) who once came to the Rebbe Maharash for Shavuos. He wasn’t expecting to be granted a yechidus but out of the blue the secretaries suddenly called him into the Rebbe. During his yechidus he complained to the Rebbe that he felt like he was an empty vessel (meaning he is not where his is supposed to be in his service of Hashem). The Rebbe responded positively saying that if he felt like an empty vessel he had already reached an important level in his service of Hashem. Then the Rebbe said to him that he was already on the road but that he still needed to wash out his vessel. Usually that is done with Tehillim and tears; but not before Shavuos. We approach Kabbolas HaTorah with simcha.

It is known that the transformation of the Jewish people that took place from before to after Matan Torah was a transformation of gerus, of conversion. When we entered into the new covenant at Matan Torah we were converted into the Jewish nation. When we became a nation we became a new being which is a great cause for simcha!

Even though Shavuos is the Yartzeit of David HaMelech who was the author of Tehillim, and therefore there is no better time to recite Tehillim, which is even better when it is with tears, nevertheless we don’t. This is because of the overwhelming simcha of our collective gerus, our conversion to becoming the Jewish people. This simcha is remembered and relived every Shavuos throughout the entire Yom Tov.

So far we have explained the reason the Rabbeim wish us a kabbolas HaTorah bSimcha; but why does the bracha include; “u’v’pnimius, and inwardly” as well? The answer can be understood from the example of when a person becomes a citizen of a new country. When he is tested and confirmed he isn't just checked that he knows and follows the rules but they look to see if he is involved and motivated, patriotic to be a new citizen of their country. The same is true when we become a nation on Shavuos. On Shavuos we don’t just go through the motions, robotically fulfilling the obligations of hearing the Ten Commandments and eating cheese cake just to fulfill the requirements and no more. We internalize the greatness of Shavuos and the opportunity we have been given to receive the Torah with true involvement and simcha. This simcha and pnimius gives us inspiration and power for the entire year.

A Good Yom Tov! Kabbolas HaTorah b’Simcha uv’Pnimius

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