Jo's 3 Gs to Shavuot
by Jo Diamond
Shavuot remembers the time that G-d spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and gave him the Ten Commandments and other laws but I have asked myself the question why???? What was g-d’s reason and purpose for doing this and another question I ask is...in what way has the giving of the Torah affected the lives of the Jewish people?
Do we ever think about it, do you ever think that whatever it is we do in our daily lives that the Torah has somehow influenced us or led us to make that decision, or do a certain act?
I don’t have the answer but Shavuot perhaps does give way to us understanding the importance of what the Torah is and what it stands for
.... so what I want to share with you all today is ‘my story’... and believe you me I’m still a long way off knowing even a fraction of what there is to know of the Torah, but having been given insights into the teachings of the Torah, it is a blessing that ‘we’ have it.
What I also want to impart...and it really doesn’t matter how religious you are or what level of practice you observe, is the positivity that the Torah has brought into my life and that of the lives of my family since we chose to immerse ourselves in a community where a commonality amongst us all, whether we know it or not, is the Torah.
So going back to my initial question of how has the giving of the Torah influenced and affects our lives...it does in many ways I’m sure... but what came to me when asked to speak of Shavuot quite simply was the 3 G’s to Shavuot
1...Giving...g-d gave us such teachings and guidance, laws and testimonies that have been passed on through the generations.... surely all that he desired was to enrich the lives of the Jewish people and create a community of grounded well respected beings ...the way i see it....The giving of the Torah has played such a role, whether we even realise it or not, in brining us all together as the Woodside Park community and what in turn has brought us all here this evening. I think that’s quite a wonderful thing when you peel back the layers...from Torah...to Woodside Park! Fantastic!!!
We interpret the Torah in our own way, take what you want and do what you will ... but be inspired...because remember it was ‘given’ for a reason. You can decide that but ultimately it was given to the Jewish people to bring us all together and to remain together, a community through thick and thin...and the survival of the Jewish people throughout history is testament of that! The way we have all come together through Covid has also been incredibly inspiring and remarkable
2.. Generosity...how wonderful and thoughtful that g-d chose to give over to Moses who in turn was commanded to share with his people knowledge and insight of the fundamentals of what it takes to be a good person. That’s is what the Torah is right ????? We most certainly want and desire a world of good people... but we should most definitely count ourselves lucky that many moons ago g-d was truly generous in sharing his knowledge and guidance to affect and give way to these fundamental principles of righteousness.
So that leads to my final and third G...
3,. Gratefulness...to whom tho we might ask? To g-d for giving us the Torah in the first place...or to the sages who have passed on the teachings through the generations throughout history...or is it as simple as looking as closely to those around us..our family our friends our community our rabbonim whom we all share a common value of wanting to be a good ans righteous person... Remember we learn from one another...I know that my family and I have learnt so much from this community’s leadership and the excellent guidance and programmes that are on offer to each and everyone of us. What you take and make of it is your own doing but I can guarantee you and I speak from experience that to emerse yourself in community life... in Torah...however little or much as you so desire...will have such a positive influence on your life and will enrich you and your family’s life for sure....without Torah i wouldn’t be here...so for having been given the Torah - I am truly grateful.