If ever you meet a fellow Jew and you can’t place where you’ve met before, after a game of “Jewish Geography,” you might just concede and say, “well, at least I know we were together at Sinai.” For it is said, that the souls of ALL Jews (even those who choose Judaism later in life) were together at Mount Sinai to receive and witness the revelation of Torah.
As we rejoice in the holiday of Shavuot- the holiday that commemorates the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, we actually have an opportunity to remind ourselves that the Torah and the wisdom of Judaism continues to be revealed to us each and every day.
Thanks to my friend and mentor, Rabbi Jeff Sirkman I have learned to call any moment of revelation a “Sinai Moment,” in honor of the fact that we all have a chance to “stand at Sinai,” we all can have a sense of revelation that in some way deepens our connection to Torah, our faith and Judaism in general.
Without going into all the “mushy details,” for me, a major “Sinai Moment” in my life came on my second date with my husband. As he stood outside the Karaoke restaurant where we were to meet, I looked up and just felt a sense of revelation- I knew something was different, I knew I was experiencing something incredibly special in my life. I didn’t know what exactly, but I knew something was being revealed to me. Some of you may even be able to pinpoint one or hopefully multiple “Sinai Moments” in your own life. Was it the birth of a child? Or when, thank God, you overcame something terrible in your life? Or was it something else?
Right now and at all times we should be open to witnessing a “Sinai Moment.” At this very moment, each of us can live out the words expressed in Deuteronomy 29:14, and be like our elders who stood at Sinai and those who weren’t there, but still accept Torah. We can make the decision to accept Torah, in that we must take on the challenge to live out what it means to be Jewish and to be part of a community, in whatever way it is revealed to you.
Like all of the souls at Sinai, we need to actively accept the yoke of being a Jew and being part of a community. Together it is up to us to do our part to remember the past, celebrate the present, and secure the future of Judaism by being open to “Sinai Moments” and all moments of Revelation.
Rabbi Emily Losben-Ostrov serves Temple Anshe Hesed in Erie, PA. She also blogs about the recent loss of her father at www.kaddishformydad.com