Posted on June 7, 2017 by Adam Gillman
The streets are packed, people of all ages are walking in all directions. I make way from Dean Bernstein’s home to Pardes awestruck at the energy and uplifting vibes of this Jerusalem night. On my stroll towards Pardes, I am told that Shavuot is one of the three nights of the year when children are allowed and even encouraged to stay up all night (in addition to Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim). As I enter the building i am greeted by throngs of people, many of whom I have never seen — although I have been studying at Pardes for the year. In a matter of minutes I was surrounded by hundreds of people, many of whom were stepping into the halls of Machon Pardes for the first time.
After spending a year full of challenging and exciting Torah study, I was thrilled with the opportunity to take part in the celebration of Shavuot at Pardes. Shavuot celebrates our reception of the Torah and the completion of the 49 day period know as the Omer. I was pleased to spend the culmination of my time at Pardes with my peers, teachers and community members as we marked the giving of our most holy of books.
Shavuot is a time of abundance and celebration, as we reach a milestone as a people. Much like Shavuot, the completion of my year at Pardes feels like a milestone. I feel accomplished with the tremendous growth I’ve made in my learning, relationships and knowledge. Much like Am Yisrael at Mt.Sinai I feel tremendously privileged to be standing at a divine moment of revelation. While I am filled with a deep sense of pride and happiness, I know that reaching this time of revelation is only a beginning.
One of the favorite commentaries about Shavuot is that each of us has our own conceptions of what Matan Torah (the giving of the Torah), means to us. It is said that in every generation, the Torah is continually re-given. At this time of reception, I see a great importance in allowing us all to share our wisdom and conceptions of what Torah means to us all. I hope we can all be empowered to share and gift our peers with our insights and breath of Torah.