(Editors note) – Rebbitzin Rifka Drelich provided this column just prior to Shavuot. It is just as meaningful after the holiday as it was prior.
(May 2017) – Not that long ago, I received something incredibly special, the most special gift that one can receive. This gift was not wrapped up the way that I might’ve expect it to be, yet there was something quite unique about its presentation, and not to mention from whom it was coming.
I can honestly say that without a shadow of doubt this gift is one that no other can be compared to, not even to the likes of the Stanley Cup, or the awards given at the Oscars. Whilst I admit that I have never received any one of those, I can still say with certainty, that my gift is way more precious. Those gifts take their place on a shelf to be admired and collect dust.
What I have been given is something that is used daily, one that leaves a legacy not just to be remembered, but to be lived. Dear Reader, if you are still with me and have not yet turned the page or switched back to your iPhone – you have probably guessed it by now, it is the Torah. That was given not just to me, but to you too.
“This is a gift?” some of you may say, “With all the do’s and don’ts, after all, what gift is a gift when there are rules attached?!” And I say to you, let’s dare to imagine for just a moment, that our positions were reversed, and that we were the father, the giver, and wanted to give our beloved, our children a precious gift unlike any other. A gift that can be passed on from generation to generation, one that does not become outdated, but lives with the times, being their guide for life. Even if our children cannot yet understand its value now, there will come a time when we know they will.
Wouldn’t we too give instructions on how to care for this gift knowing that the decision to follow the instructions lies with them, the receiver and ultimately with us the Jewish People?
This Shavuot let us remember, not only to Thank G-d for His precious gift to us, but, let us give Him a gift too. Let us say that that we are going to do more than we have been doing. By joining fellow Jews all over the world by going to a shul- synagogue near you this Shavuot, to hear the Ten Commandments being recited all over again. Remember ‘Am Yisroel K’ish Echad. B’leiv Echad’ –The nation of Israel, is compared to one man -women, with one heart.’
And, by you coming, together, as one we form a complete whole. May the Almighty G-d, the Angels on high, and our loved ones who have passed on, will answer with a resounding Amein.
Rifka Drelich is a Rebbetzin of Chabad Edmonton Shlucha, a former preschool teacher and a freelance writer.