THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'
As seasons come and seasons go, feelings and emotions are swept along with them. We have the bitter winter months followed by the warm spring months which bring with them a rejuvenation of fresh ideas.
As seasons come and seasons go, feelings and emotions are swept along with them. We have the bitter winter months followed by the warm spring months which bring with them a rejuvenation of fresh ideas. The Jewish festivals also carry with them special feelings which we experience as each of them passes us by a sort of circadian rhythm of the soul. On Purim we cackle in the joy of the day, on Passover we feel as though we ourselves participated in the miraculous exodus from Egypt.
At this very moment, we stand firmly transfixed between the festivals of Passover and Shavuot. It was during this time many years ago, that our Jewish ancestors spent 49 days elevating themselves from being slaves in Egypt to become the Jewish nation, poised to receive Hashem's Torah at the foot of Mt. Sinai. It is during this seven week period that it is especially appropriate for us to take a step back and look at our own lives. Are we being the best Jew that we can be or are we stuck in a holding pattern of mediocrity? Will our hearts, minds, and souls be ready to receive the Torah on Shavuot?
Seven weeks. In the ultimate scheme of things, it is just a drop in the bucket. Yet, 49 days is still enough time to make a difference. We need to ask ourselves if we are truly happy with where we are in our journey towards Hashem. Are my thoughts and actions guided by the wisdom of His Torah? Do I go to synagogue and pray because I have to or because I want to? Does being Jewish enrich my life on a daily basis? If not, how can I change that? Just seven weeks we'd better get a move on it.
The climactic ending of this exciting period is the festival of Shavuot, when we relive the revelation and reaccept the Torah. Hashem bestowed upon us this gracious gift, and it is up to us to make it a part of ourselves. In this spiritual symphony we call life, we play the instruments and G-d is our maestro. The show has begun.
Benyamin Cohen, a native Atlantan, is editor of Torah from Dixie.
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