June 10, 2024 / 4 Sivan 5784 • Shavuot / Parshat Naso
Issue 825
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

Renewing and Re-creating the World

Shavu’ot is the anniversary of the Giving of the Torah. It is therefore customary to spend this holiday in the study of the Torah. This recalls how G-d gave us the Torah by pronouncing the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and then teaching the rest of the Torah to Moses orally.

Just as G-d used His faculty of speech to create the world, so did He use His faculty of speech to infuse the world with fresh Divine consciousness at the Giving of the Torah. Similarly, whenever we articulate the teachings of the Torah using our faculty of speech, we cause the Torah to be further revealed, thereby spreading Divine consciousness throughout creation.

We thus become partners with G-d in the ongoing renewal and re-creation of the world.

Before and After 

G-d said to Moses, “Let one prince each day present his offering for the dedication of the Altar; one prince each day.” 

Numbers 7:11

The princes’ offerings were all the same, all consisting first of inanimate items – bowls, basins, flour, oil, spoons, incense – and then animals – bulls, rams, lambs, and goats. As Rashi explains, the allusions of the items in these offerings begin with creation and progress through history: Adam, Noah, the seventy nations, the patriarchs, Joseph, Moses and Aaron, the Jewish People, and the Torah.

The inanimate objects allude to pre-Sinai history, the “inanimate” period when physicality could not be animated with holiness.

The animals – signifying perceivable life – represent history from the patriarchs on, since, beginning with Abraham, the light of the Torah and its ability to reveal the Divine vitality and holiness of physicality began to shine in the world.

This demonstrates how the Torah is the means we use to infuse the world with Divine vitality.

--Daily Wisdom Volume 3