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Mystery Meat (Beha’alotcha)

Preview: Do the math, and you’ll discover that the debacle at Kivrot HaTa’avah, retold in this week’s parshah, actually took place over Shavuot. Might this explain why we limit our meat intake on that holiday?

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You Can Say That Again (Shavuot)

Preview: We usually associate the “haggadah” with the holiday of Pesach. But is there such a thing as a “Shavuot haggadah?” You bet! In fact, its text appears in the Torah itself – and we actually recite it on Pesach night. A short thought on the relationship between the mitzvah of “v’higaddeta” on Pesach and the mitzvah of “higaddeti” on Shavuot.

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Seventh Day (Behar / Shavuot)

Preview: Sinai themes permeate all laws in the Torah’s “Shabbat cycle:” Shabbat, shemittah, and yovel. What are those connections, and why are they there?

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Nietzsche and Naomi (Shavuot)

Preview: How do we find Hashem, post-Sinai? Boaz’s first words in megillat Rut – “ה’ עמכם” – offer the paradigm: to make Hashem’s presence felt on earth, we must conduct ourselves in a Godly fashion. Indeed, that’s what so endeared Rut: not revelation, not philosophy, not spirituality, but the kindness of a single person, Naomi. Maybe this approach also illuminates why some of last the words we sing upon returning the Torah to the aron are “דרכיה דרכי נעם:” when revelation ends, what remains is the imperative to reveal Hashem through our acts.

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