By Rabbi Shlomo Zargari
Shalom, we learn a pasuk in the parasha:
לֹֽא־אוּכַ֤ל אָנֹכִי֙ לְבַדִּ֔י לָשֵׂ֖את אֶת־כָּל־הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה כִּ֥י כָבֵ֖ד מִמֶּֽנִּי׃
I cannot carry all the people by myself, for it is too much for me.
Moshe is begging for help from HaShem and HaShem tells him to gather the seventy elders who will assist him in the leadership in front of the אוהל מועד.
וְיָרַדְתִּ֗י וְדִבַּרְתִּ֣י עִמְּךָ֮ שָׁם֒ וְאָצַלְתִּ֗י מִן־הָר֛וּחַ אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָלֶ֖יךָ וְשַׂמְתִּ֣י עֲלֵיהֶ֑ם וְנָשְׂא֤וּ אִתְּךָ֙ בְּמַשָּׂ֣א הָעָ֔ם וְלֹא־תִשָּׂ֥א אַתָּ֖ה לְבַדֶּֽךָ׃
I will come down and speak with you there, and I will draw upon the spirit that is on you and put it upon them; they shall share the burden of the people with you, and you shall not bear it alone.
Rashi explains that Moshe was compared to a candle; even if you light many other candles from a single candle, the flame will not be diminished. The question to be asked is, “Why did HaShem use Moshe as a conduit and not directly give prophecy to the seventy elders?” The משגיח Harav Shlomo Wolbe זצ״ל answers that the Torah has to be transmitted from a Rebbi to a student. By learning and observing, the students will grow based on the righteousness of the master. It is extremely important for everyone to develop such connections for growth in Torah, and thereby spirituality.
By Rabbi Yosef Shemtov
Every morning we bless Hashem for giving us the Torah. Torah is the source of all blessings. In fact, the Torah was created before the Almighty created the world to demonstrate that life without Torah is empty and void of any blessings. Shavuot is the holiday of receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. By the burning bush, Hashem commanded Moshe to go to Egypt to save the Jewish nation so that Beni Yisrael would receive the Torah 50 days after their exodus from Egypt. Rambam states the main proof of the truth of Judaism – and what differentiates us from other nations – is the fact that all of Beni Yisrael witnessed and heard the Almighty themselves, and not through a story or by the testimony of a human being.
On Shavuot, Hashem gave ten commandments orally and then called Moshe to go up the mountain. Everyone heard G-d speaking to Moshe. No other nation in the world can claim that they heard Hashem talking to a prophet except Beni Yisrael.
Every Shavuot we commemorate receiving the Torah by staying up all night and learning Torah. We thank Hashem for choosing us as the recipients of his Torah.
On behalf of the Yachad Rabbis, I wish you and your family a happy and meaningful Shavuot.
Do not take from him interest and increase, and you shall fear your God; and let your brother live with you. (Vayikra 25:26)
Why are we forbidden to charge interest? After all, the very same money could have been invested or put into a bank account; lending it to a fellow Jew causes one to lose that additional income.
When a person’s brother needs financial help, he does not take into account losses that might result from coming to his brother’s aid. The lender should have the same outlook when lending money to any Jew in need, and this act of chessed should be performed without any thought of remuneration.
If we are commanded to ensure that our fellow Jew has an adequate material life, how much more so must we ensure that he has the ability to live an adequate spiritual life. If a fellow Jew is having difficulty with any aspect of Yiddishkeit we are obligated to offer our assistance.
Every Jew is a brother or sister. We must relate to our fellow Jews no differently from the way we would relate to our closest relatives, both in material and spiritual matters. What would one not do for a sibling? Let’s bear this in mind the next time we are asked to do a chessed.
-Harav Shlomo Wolbe