Tonight and tomorrow Jews around the world will commemorate the most significant mountain experience in the history of the Jewish people – Sinai. On the festival of Shavuot we relive this mountain moment that is such an essential part of the Jewish story. At Sinai our spiritual ancestors stood together and directly engaged with the divine – and their lives were changed. In honor of that part of the Jewish story and in the spirit of opening up to such moments in our lives, I invite you to take a few moments to commemorate Shavuot in the next couple of days.
Bringing the Mountain To You – A Shavuot Reflection
- Carve out some time where you can sit, relax and reflect.
- If you can make it a space where you can experience of bit of the majesty that is part of our Colorado mountains, better yet!
- Bring along something to write with (if that is something you prefer) or something to sip on (if that is something you prefer).
- Make yourself comfortable … first physically, make sure you are good to sit for some time.
- Then mentally, take a few moments, focus on your breathing, empty your mind of what you have to do or what you did not do … just clear out your mind of the clutter of the everyday.
- Read this teaching from our tradition a couple of times about the Sinai mountain moment: “When the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai, they miraculously were made whole, so that their physical perfection reflected the integrity of their souls. This the Torah describes all the Israelites as ‘standing’ at the foot of the mountain, implying none was crippled; ‘hearing’ the words of God, implying that none was deaf; ‘seeing’ the thunder and lightning, suggesting that none was blind. As they distanced themselves from Sinai and began to grumble about the hardships of the journey, the effect of the miracle began to wear off. Their blemished souls began to be reflected in their blemished bodies.” (Numbers Rabbah 7:1)
- Consider the nature of this moment that the commentary suggests. You may think, write or even draw in response to the following prompts:
- Remember a time in your life when you felt you were able to ‘stand’ without any weakness or injury.
- Remember a time in your life when you felt you were able to ‘see’ with great clarity and vision.
- Remember a time in your life when you felt you were able to ‘hear’ with lucidity and comprehension.
- Compare and contrast those times – what is similar and different about them?
- The commentator names these moments of standing, seeing and hearing at Sinai as ‘miracles’. How comfortable are you applying that term to your moments of standing, seeing and hearing?
- How easy or difficult are your moments of standing, seeing and hearing to recreate?
- What can you do enable more moments like these in your life?
Take a few more moments to be in the moment, reflect on what you thought about, wrote or drew.
Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad.