Friday, June 3, 2011

SHABUOT: Becoming the chosen People

Today is 1 of Sivan (ROSH CHODESH SIVAN) 5771/ 45 days of Omer (6 weeks, 3 days)

In six days, BH, we will celebrate Shabuot, one of the major Holidays of the Jewish calendar. Shabuot is known as Chag Matan Torah, the day in which we received the Torah. The giving of the Torah was actually the conclusion of a larger process: the choosing of the Jewish People as the Nation of God. We arrived at the Sinai dessert on the first day of Sivan (today!). HaShem Almighty ordered us to camp and to get ourselves ready for the greatest event. For the following days people had to purify themselves, and prepare themselves physically and spiritually.

Then HaShem made us His offer: ve'ata im shamo'a tishme'u bekoli... and now, if you accept my commandments, keeping a covenant with Me, you will be for Me a Kingdom of Priests and a Special Nation (goy kadosh).

To be the "chosen people" means basically these two things.

1. Kingdom of priests: The priests are those dedicated to the service of God. The Jewish People was offered to dedicate their lives to serving God. Same as the Kohanim (Jewish priests) for the privilege to serve God, they will be imposed more limitations and responsibilities than those who are not priests.

2. Goy Kadosh: To be a special people (or a 'separated' people) means that HaShem Almighty will supervise us directly, so to speak, guarantying that, as a people, we will never disappear from the face of the earth. This direct supervision also implies that He expects from us an exemplary behavior. God will be examining our conduct closer than the rest of the nations. See Amos 3:2. Rak etchem yadati mikol mishpechot ha'adamah "You alone did I chose from among all the families of the earth; therefore I will hold you to account for all your iniquities..."

(to be continued...)

Shabbat Shalom!!!

Candle lighting in NYC: 8:04

Shabbat ends in NYC: 9:12


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