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A Small Bite of Shabbos Delight
This week we learn, read and live the Torah reading Naso, and we study the first chapter of Pirkei Avos.

There is a unique quality of the Shabbos that follows the holiday of Shavuos.

It is the first Shabbos after the Giving of the Torah, that was renewed once again this year.

Although Shabbos was initially given before Mattan Torah, in Marah, the Rambam teaches that all the Mitzvos we do today, is because they were given at the Revelation at Sinai, and not because of an earlier instruction or observance of the Mitzvah.

So when we celebrate this year Shabbos Naso, (which Naso is usually the Torah reading after Shavuos) there is an added dimension and focus, because it's the first Shabbos following Mattan Torah of this year, 5777.

One may ask: How can we speak of Mattan Torah 5777? Isn't Shavuos 5777 an historical date that commemorated what happened at Mt Sinai in the year 2448?

Aren't we talking about something that happened, significant as it was, 3,329 years ago?

Says the Baal Shem Tov, and both Chassidic Teachings and Halachic Teachings agree, that what took place 3,329 years ago, reoccurs with each Jewish holiday, and specifically with the Giving of the Torah.

There is a well known interpretation of the Baal Shem Tov, on the Mishnah: הקורא את המגילה למפרע, לא יצא - which literally means if someone reads the Megillah backwards, or out of sequence, he does not fulfill the Mitzvah (of reading the Megillah).

The Baal Shem Tov, whose Yahrzeit is on Shavuos, teaches, that the deeper meaning of this Mishnah is - הקורא את המגילה - if someone reads the Megillah - the Book of Esther - למפרע - as a backward and old story, that (only) happened many, many years ago, and that it's not contemporary and relevant today- לא יצא - he doesn't fulfill his obligation.

When you read the Megillah in 5777, all the details, the twists and the turns, the drama and the inspiration, is renewed each year, to the Jewish people.

It's not an OLD story. It is new, relevant and contemporary!

How much more this applies to Shavuos!

Every morning when we recite Birchas HaTorah, the blessings of the Torah, as well as when we are called to the Torah, we say, in the present tense: נותן התורה - Who Gives us the Torah!

We don't say: שנתן התורה - Who Gave us the Torah - because we are acknowledging that Hashem is continuously giving us the Torah anew.

Furthermore, in regards to Torah our sages taught: בכל יום יהיו בעיניך כחדשים - that every day it should be considered as new (Shulchan Aruch of the Alter Rebbe - Orach Chaim Laws of Krias Shema, Siman 31:2, and elsewhere).

Even beyond (כחדשים (כ?ף הדמיון - AS NEW - Rashi
(Tavo 26:16) uses the term חדשים! - teaching that the Torah is given to you literally NEW each day - and how much more so each year on Shavuos.

So this Shabbos Naso, which literally means the lifting of our head, is celebrated with great renewal and relevance, as the first Shabbos since the Torah was given anew in 5777, and with all the ramifications of the significance of the first Shabbos after the Torah was given.

Indeed, we start this Shabbat once again Pirkei Avos, משה קיבל תורה מסיני - that Moshe received the Torah from Sinai - with the fervor and the excitement that this just happened - and והימים האלה נזכרים ונעשים (Esther 9:28) and these days shall be remembered and celebrated - when they are properly remembered, they are properly celebrated.

Good Shabbos.
Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus

THE MOSHIACH WATCH: When the Torah was given, every Chidush, every new Torah insight that would later be revealed by a great sage, was at least in a concealed level, given at Sinai.

כל מה שתלמיד ותיק עתיד לחדש הכל ניתן למשה מסיני-
Whatever a genuine student will reveal in Torah was already given to Moshe at Sinai ( See Talmud Megillah 19b, Jerusalem Talmud chapter 2, Halacha 4, and elsewhere).

Even the Torah of Moshiach, which will surpass the depth of any Torah previously revealed, will have its origins from Mt Sinai.

But the Torah of Moshiach will be so profound, that only G-d will produce the teachings that Moshiach will transmit, as it says (in Isaiah 51:4; Vayikrah Rabbah 13:3): A new Torah will emerge from Me.

Moshiach, NOW!


8 Sivan 5777