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Living Day by Day: A Message from HaRav Elefant One Must Hear Before Entering Chag HaShavuos

Yesterday (5.28), R’ Elefant Shlita, in his shiur on Shavuos at the Center for Kehillah Development started off with a well-known Gemara in Shabbos. The Gemara tells a story about a Tzaduki who confronted Rava claiming that at the time of Matan Torah, Am Yisroel acted in a reckless and irresponsible way. He reasoned that in an instinctive and spontaneous act, Am Yisroel replied to Hashem’s offer “Naaseh Venishmah’” without really contemplating whether they could actually keep all the Mitzvos. Rava calmly replied that the dialogue between Am Yisroel and Hashem was not of two strangers negotiating a contract, rather it was an engagement between two lovers. Am Yisroel’s reply, “Naaseh Venishmah,” was an act of “Temimus HaLev”, like the Pasuk says “תומת ישרים תנחם” – we trusted that Hashem would not confront us with something we could not handle. It was the middah of “תום לב” that enabled Am Yisroel to accept the Torah, and that middah of “תום לב” still remains our primary avodah on Chag HaShavuos.

R’ Elefant continued, citing the Ramban’s comment that the “Maan” constituted one of biggest tests Am Yisroel faced during its entire 40 years in the desert. The Maan came down from the heavens and dissolved, disappearing only a few hours after it fell and leaving the Jewish people with no “financial” guarantee for the next day. Living without anxiety about tomorrow’s “paycheck” not only required Temimus HaLev, but it was the avodah to develop Temimus Halev.

R’ Elefant concluded with a message to the CKD Avreichim: “You’re going to go out one day, sooner than later, and you’ll see the exact opposite of what we spoke about today. A world of manipulation, a world of ‘what do I gain from this?’… And there the ends always seem to justify the means. But that’s not the Derech Hatorah, that’s not Temimus… It’s funny that the word “תם” in the Haggadah means unsophisticated… and that’s us, we’re not unsophisticated. That was the whole Kabbalas HaTorah. It’s not that we didn’t care; it’s that today we’re going to live the moment and we’re not going to manipulate or worry about tomorrow. That lack of ‘sophistication’ we share with Yaakov Avinu, who was a תם.  In the ‘very sophisticated’ world you are soon heading out to help, the Ben Torah is the guy who retains some of that תומת ישרים תנחם. And when Shavuos comes and we’re able to retouch that thing deep inside of us, that creates a whole new relationship with HaShem.”

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