Shavuot and Revelation -- Posted by hazzanmenes
What was revealed was not all wonderful...
Shavuot is the celebration of the Revelation at Sinai. "Atah nigleita ba'anan k'vod'kha - You were revealed in a cloud of glory." God, and the Law were revealed at Sinai. They were not the only things revealed at Sinai.
Moses was there, and we were there. And here's what was revealed: in the presence of God, we were afraid. Given the chance to hear God, we chose to have someone else be our emissary. And when we thought God was not present, we built an idol and prayed to a false god. We turned away from our emissary, Moses, and from our God. We had no faith, no loyalty, no strength in our convictions. The experience at Sinai revealed a people who would embarrass their God, a people who were slaves to their fear.
And what was revealed of Moses? He had the bravery to stand before God, to speak, to advocate for the people, but he also was consumed by his anger and threw down the tablets - the tablets with the word of God! But most troubling, what was revealed at Sinai was God's wrath and a god who chose not to pardon the sins of the people. Is it possible to think of Sinai and not weep? Is it possible to want to return? Is it possible to want God to reveal more?
The Revelation at Sinai teaches us that we can't stop at one point in history and determine that all has been revealed. If God had given us the Ten commandments - dayeinu? No. It would not have been enough. The truth is that the Torah is not enough. The Talmud is not enough. We've only seen a small piece of what this world is about and I pray that Revelation may continue, because I have yet to understand the Law, and God.
Shavuot is a time for celebrating the revelations at Sinai. Celebrate the Torah. Celebrate the truth of who we were and who we are now. Celebrate the fact that we are not static. Celebrate the idea that what was written in stone could be broken and rewritten. Celebrate the idea that we are not done learning and not done revealing and being revealed.