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Shavuos Celebrates Our Torah - Shavuot Artnotes

Greetings & Blessings My Friend,

A few nights ago, our 6-year-old granddaughter spent the night at our house. When it came time to say the bedtime Shema prayers, she pulled the covers over her head.

"Don't want to."

“Please,” we said. 

"Don't want to."

My wise husband sat down beside her and told her, “We’re not asking you to do it for us, you know. We’re just reminding you that saying Shema makes Hashem happy. Don’t you want to make G-d happy?”

“Yes!” she said, throwing the covers off her head and, covering her eyes, she happily recited “Shema Yisrael…”

I heard a beautiful thought from Rabbi Reuven Wolf. When G-d gave the Torah to Moshe at Mt. Sinai, the angels were upset.

“Why are You giving the holy Torah to mortal man?” they argued. “Humans are so selfish -- they’ll just mess it up! Leave the Torah with us. We’ll always appreciate it and never fail to keep it holy.”

G-d turned to Moshe and said, “Go ahead. You answer them.”

Moshe said to the angels, “The Torah says, “Honor your father and mother. Do YOU have parents? Do you have an evil urge to do anything that’s not holy like we do? If you don’t struggle, why do you even need the Torah?!”

Now I don’t know about you, but there are many times when I’m supposed to do a mitzvah that I feel like throwing the covers over my head, just like my granddaughter. Do you ever feel like that, too?

But, guess what!

Each of us is a conduit for G-d in this world–not despite our resistance to doing mitzvahs but because of our resistance.

Not despite our shortcomings, but because of our shortcomings.

Wherever you are, YOU are the conduit for G-d’s light and truth in this world – even when you’re hiding under the covers – in fact, especially then!

Just the way you are.

Every bit of your struggle creates a home for G-d in this world with your own distinctive flavor of G-dly light.

The spiritual energy of Shavuos is that of connection. The energy of this time helps us reconnect with our special G-d given mission in this world with excitement, even though it can be hard and challenging.

Shavuos recharges our energy and refreshes our commitment to fill our own personal little corners of the world, our own homes, with G-dly light by learning Torah and doing the mitzvahs with loving care.

That’s why it’s so important for everyone to go to synagogue on Shavuos to hear the 10 commandments read from the Torah. We’ve got to plug in our batteries for a fresh burst of G-dly energy for the whole year!

You know what’s funny? Did you know that on the morning of the giving of the Torah the Jewish people slept in? They also had the covers over their heads!

But G-d wanted them to be fully awake to make the conscious choice to choose the Torah, to act kindly and selflessly, and to fill the world with divine action. And G-d wants us to be fully awake spiritually, too.

So, my friend, let’s throw those covers off and leap into our lives refreshed and recharged with our holy mission! Torah gives us our purpose in life. Shavuos celebrates our Torah, our purpose

​​​​​​​So, my friend, what's a mitzvah that makes you want to throw the covers over your head?

How can you infuse new joy into it?

Comment below and share your thoughts on this. I would love to learn from you, and maybe I can help and encourage you, too!


My Blessing To You:

May you be blessed with the light of Torah this Shavuos, with renewed energy and refreshment, so that you can leap into your own special holy mission with joy and delight.

Happy Shavuos and Good Shabbos - Shabbat Shalom!

Rae Shagalov
Author, Master Calligrapher & Chief Doodler ​​​​​​​

Ignite Your Spark!
Energize & Elevate Your Jewish Connection.

Shavuos-Torah-Shavuot-2018- Love Yourself with God

Love yourself with G-d

No matter how hard your situation is, no matter how far you have fallen, you can find G-d there. 

In your down-ness – there you will find G-d.

You can choose to change in any moment because G-d is creating you brand new right now with the ability to change.

To love G-d, you first have to love yourself.

The closer you come to G-d the more you can love yourself.

There is no place devoid of G-d

G-d is present in every situation.

There are Holy Sparks in everything, even though they may be very hidden.

Our job is to find the Holy Sparks of G-dliness, even in the deepest darkness, even in your worst moods – find them and elevate them.

The more you learn Torah and the teachings of the Tzaddikim, the more you will understand how to come closer to G-d.

You are alive today because G-d is creating you brand new right now.

Even when you think there I no hope for you – there is!  Why? Because G-d has not given up on you.  What’s the proof?  You are still alive.  G-d is creating you right now because G-d believes that you will choose what is good and right.  G-d believes in you that you will fulfill your potential and accomplish your mission in life according to Torah.

Heard from Rabbi Elchanon Tauber

Teves 5770     © 2018 Rae Shagalov


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