Sunday, May 16, 2010

Preparing For Shavuos

Over shabbos, I read an amazing piece from R' Shimshon Pincus and I wanted to share it with you.

Shavuos is compared to the wedding between Hashem and Bnei Yisroel. On Pesach, we got engaged, sefira is a time to do the preparations and get ready for the wedding and Shavuos is the BIG DAY. Before a person gets married, they are not committed to the person they married. But once the chuppah is over, they are husband and wife and they promise to be faithful to one another.

There are three stages in shidduchim. The first one is the actual checking out and dating. At this point, both the boy and the girl have to agree to continue on. If the girl or the boy doesn't want it, there is no shidduch. The second part is the kinyan which again requires the absolute consent of both the boy and the girl. When he proposes, they are only engaged if she says "yes" and she will only get engaged if he asks her, "will you marry me?"!! They both must want it and agree that they want to get married. One they agree and they get married, they are bound to each other.

Pesach is the first part-Hashem wants to take us as a nation and we have to want to be close to Him. During sefira, we are engaged and getting ready for the grand wedding-Kaballas HaTorah! When we get to Shavuos, we reach a point where we say, "na'aseh v'nishma" and then we are bound to Hashem. Now there are two parts in our love and commitment in this marriage. The first one is "Anochi Hashem" and the second one is "Lo Yihiyeh Licha."

Anochi Hashem means that we are connected to Hashem like a husband and wife, with the love they have for each other. Lo Yihiyeh Licha means that we promise to be faithful and not do anything that will disconnect ourselves from Hashem. We are making an agreement with Hashem that we will continue to keep the Torah and not do things that make us stray from it. We will try our best, our hardest, to stay close to Him by doing the mitzvos and we will stay far away from things that distance us from Him.

We are now during the sheloshes yimei hagbalah, the three days before Shavuos that are meant to be used in preparation for the big day, the day that we are getting married to Hashem. We have to think about where we stand, where we are going and what we want this marriage to look like. How can we make sure this will be a relationship that will last? We have to look at what we are busy with and think, are we doing things that help us get closer to Hashem?

We need to build our love for Hashem by thinking and thanking Him for all the good things He continually does for us. How often do we notice the many brachos we are blessed with? Do we constantly thank Hashem for our health? Our families? Our friends? The many different foods and bounty we are so lucky to have?

We need to remain faithful to Hashem by getting rid of the things that distance ourselves from Him. Is the music you are listening to, the things that you read and watch, are they helping you get closer to Him or are they making you move further away?

These are important questions to ask yourself before Shavuos comes-during these next few days. This is how you can prepare for Kaballas HaTorah, by thinking about the things you do in your life and making decisions to focus upwards. Focus on the good you have and thank Hashem for it. Focus on the things you are doing and think about how you can make sure your actions bring you closer to Hashem!

May you all be able to prepare well for the big day...the grand wedding! And may it be a relationship that lasts forever!!


  1. Because I have been so busy with school, etc. - I feel like I have HARDLY prepared myself for shavous, especially since I don't count sefirah. I don't feel ready just to enter Shavous. I want it to have an effect on me. What can I do to prepare myself?

  2. Anon-This is a tough one. I feel this way before almost every yom tov as well. Since I'm not in school anymore, it is so much harder because there's no one to "spoon feed" the inspiration to you so you have to do it yourself.

    We are very lucky that we live in a time where there are so many books out there to inspire and prepare us-we just have to make the effort to pick up the book and read! See if you can find a book that talks to you on the topic of Shavuos and the significance of the day and read some of it tonight and tomorrow and over yom tov. This should certainly help somewhat.

    Another way you can prepare yourself is by giving yourself some time to just THINK. Think about the different things that you are grateful for that you have in your life just because you are a Jew and because you have the Torah. This will enhance your appreciation for this big day-the day we actually got the Torah that changed us as a nation and gave us all these benefits!

    Let me know what you think about these ideas.


You made it to the end of this post! What do you think about it?