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Parshas Emor

The Perennial Harvest

Our parsha, Emor, contains the different yomim tovim. "In the first month, on the 15th day, Chag Hamatzos, the holiday of Matzos . . . And count seven weeks and bring a mincha chadasha (a new offering) to Hashem . . . And on the first day of the seventh month, a memorial of blowing the horn (shofar) . . . And on the tenth day, Yom Hakipurim . . . And on the 15th day, Chag HaSukkos . . ."

Chag HaShavuos is not named and the fact that it is the day of Matan Torah, the day when the very purpose of creation was realized, is not even mentioned! If it's referred to simply as a day of "mincha chadasha," a new offering, then that term must somehow reveal to us the core essence of Matan Torah.

We tend to get bored with the old, always looking for something new and exciting. The Torah has a supernatural quality--each repetition yields new bounties. Learning without reviewing is compared to planting without harvesting. Each time it's approached, it's a new encounter. A new harvest, followed by a new harvest, followed by a new harvest, with an infinite number of new harvests looming on the horizon.

The Kli Yakar explains that it would have been an injustice to the Torah had Matan Torah been relegated to a specific day. It would then be limited, finite, attainable in a day. The Torah is, in fact, given every day--the harvests are always ready to be reaped.

But this gift wasn't always available for us. Thousands of years had to pass from the time of creation. Bnei Yisroel had to endure centuries of slavery. Only then could this r'chush gadol, this precious commodity, be received.

That day when this precious gift was first made available to us is termed the day of the "mincha chadasha." A mincha chadasha is brought on Shavuos because that is the day when the perennial mincha chadasha was given to us. Open. Expansive.

Limited only by the time and effort that we are willing to expend.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner

Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Yisroel Ciner and



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