Classics and Beyond Emor: Vort With A Mothers Day Twist

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    Emor – Giving and Receiving:
    מועדי ה’ אשר תקראו אתם מקראי קדש
    Hashem’s appointed festivals which you shall designate as callings of holiness (Vayikra 23:1).
    In Parashas Emor, we are told about the various festivals and holidays in the year. The pasuk has three names for the holiday upon which we received the Torah. In Parashas Re`eh (Devarim 16:10), it is called Chag Shavuos – the Festival of Weeks; in Parashas Mishpatim (Shemos 23:16), it is known as Chag HaKatzir – the Festival of the Harvest; in Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar 28:26), it is referred to as Yom HaBikkurim – the Day of the First Fruits.
    It is interesting to note that in Parashas Emor, where we find the most details about the Yamim Tovim, there is no name assigned to Shavuos. Even more glaring, there is no mention that this is the Yom Tov commemorating the giving of the Torah. In fact, the Torah never refers to Shavuos the way we refer to it in our tefillos, as Zman Matan Toraseinu – the Time of the Giving of our Torah. Why is this?
    I think the best way to explain this is by discussing the “problem” with Mother’s Day. Every year, Ann Landers would reprint a letter around Mother’s Day. It went something like this:
    Dear Ann,
    My son, the prominent attorney, always picks me up on Mother’s Day. We first go to a pricey restaurant and then attend a theatrical performance, with, of course, the best seats in the house. Then he gives me a breathtaking bouquet of long-stemmed roses. This perfect evening ends with a loving kiss before he takes me home.
    And then I don’t see the bum until the next year!
    When we set aside one day in the year for honoring mothers, the florists, restaurants, and greeting card companies make their money, but the mothers lose out. By identifying one day for Mother, we can ignore her the rest of the year. In truth, every day should be Mother’s Day.
    That is the why the Torah does not identify Shavuos with the title Zman Matan Toraseinu. If the Torah would say that this is the time to commemorate the giving of the Torah, we would go all out. We would have Torah parades. We would listen to grand speeches. Then, after this glorious day is over, we would take the Torah and put it away until next year.
    In truth, every day should be the Time of the Giving of our Torah.
    It says in Devarim (26:16), “Hayom hazeh Hashem Elokecha metzavecha laasos es hachukim – This day, Hashem, your G-d, commands you to perform these statutes.” Rashi explains that on each day, the words of the Torah should be new in our eyes, as if we were commanded them that day.
    This could be why Shavuos is called Zman Matan Toraseinu in our tefillos, and not Zman Kabbalas Toraseinu – the Time of the Receiving of our Torah. Although the Torah was given to us on that day, the acceptance did not occur only on that day.
    Every morning, I must reaccept the Torah; my commitment from last week, or even yesterday, will not suffice for today. Every day must be a Zman Kabbalas Toraseinu.
    Echoing this sentiment is a keen observation from the Kli Yakar. Although the Yom Tov of Shavuos is unnamed in Parasas Emor, the Torah tells us that on the day of Shavuos, “Ve’hikravtem minchah chadashah laShem – You shall bring a new meal-offering to Hashem” (Vayikra 23:16). This new offering, explains the Kli Yakar, is a symbol of the day of Matan Torah, because the Torah must be new to every Yid, every day, as if he received it on this day from Har Sinai. We must always make a new commitment, a minchah chadashah, to Hashem and to His Torah.


    Mother’s Day was enshrined into law by a Klu Klux Klan congressman.

    Reb Eliezer

    The RMA brings in SA O’CH 146,4 to stand at leinen. The MB s’k 19 explains to see the time of leining like Kabolas Hatorah.

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