As we celebrate the 3324th anniversary of the giving of the Torah, perhaps the biggest question plaguing us as Jews today is this: What is Judaism’s message to our contemporary lives? Why is Sinai relevant today? How we can awaken in our children passion to our ancient tradition? What do we tell them when they ask us how these teachings speak to our modern world?
The decreasing relevance of religion to our daily struggles has become an ongoing reality. A deep compartmentalization exists today between faith and modernity, with some strongly arguing that the two are incompatible. What possible connection can there between the seemingly archaic teachings of millennia ago in an ancient agricultural society with the hyper-kinetic futuristic and technological world of today?! Ironically, this argument comes from both opposite extremes: The ultra-religious and the ultra-secular!
As we recreate Sinai in our lives today, let us explore the relevance of Torah to us here and now. Indeed, when we examine what happened at Sinai 3,324 years ago we discover that is relevant today more than ever. For it contains the secret bridge between modernity and faith.
With a pinch of humor and the disarming words of a Yerushalmi boy to the enlightened poet Chaim Nachman Bialik – we discover that bridge and how it impacts every moment we experience now. It also teaches us about the distinctive bridge we create when we say Yizkor and remember our loved ones. That we never say goodbye to these souls; we learn to greet them and say hello in new and powerful ways.