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Shavuot – Day One: Receiving The Torah In 2448, 5727 (1967) and 5777 (2017)

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Imagine if, instead of in synagogue, you and your congregation were standing at the foot of Sinai receiving the Torah.

Imagine if, instead of in synagogue, you and your congregation were standing at the Kotel, at the foot of the Temple Mount, in 1967, a mere week after Israel returned to its eternal center.

The Torah was given and received at Mount Sinai 3329-years-ago, in the year 2448 from creation. Every year since, on Shavuot, the event is recreated anew. And every one of the 3329 years has its own special story.

In 1967, a few days following the miraculous victory of the Six-Day War, the Western Wall, for the first time in 2000 years, was in Jewish hands, and Jewish people celebrated the giving of the Torah at the liberated Kotel in Jerusalem, the spot where the Holy Temples stood. There was a euphoric energy in the air, reminiscent of the awe-inspiring atmosphere of the first Shavuot at Sinai.

One account: “Every section of the population was represented. Kibbutz members and soldiers rubbing shoulders with Neturei Karta. Mothers came with children in prams, and old men trudged steeply up Mount Zion, supported by youngsters on either side, to see the wall of the Temple before the end of their days. Some wept, but most faces were wreathed in smiles. For 13 continuous hours, a colorful variety of all peoples trudged along in perfect order.” Another: “I’ve never known so electric an atmosphere before or since. Wherever we stopped, we began to dance. Holding aloft Torah scrolls we swayed and danced and sang at the tops of our voices.”

Now in 2017, how do we achieve that same level of miraculous euphoria of Sinai and ’67, how do we celebrate Shavuot as the momentous event that it is mean to be?

And what lessons can we learn from the past to ensure that we never lose the awe and awesomeness of the miracle?

A combination of moving eyewitness accounts of that first Shavuot at the Kotel, the way it was reported even in left-wing papers like the Times and Haaretz, its global impact, and personal applications of Sinai to our lives today – make for a riveting sermon that will inspire your listeners to recreate on this Shavuot 5777/2017 – the passion and excitement, the relevance and the emotions of Sinai 2448 and 5727/1967.

 

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