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The weekly share – 6 SIVAN

The weekly share – 6 SIVAN

Nourriture pour l'âme


From May 25 to 27, 2023 is Shavuot, a two-day holiday (one day in Israel) that commemorates the date when G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai over 3,000 years ago. Preceded by 49 days of counting in eager anticipation, Shavuot is celebrated through desisting from work, candle-lit dinners, staying up all night to study Torah, listening to the reading of the Ten Commandments in synagogue, enjoying dairy foods and other festivities.

The giving of the Torah was a far-reaching spiritual event—one that touched the essence of the Jewish soul for all times. Our sages have compared it to a wedding between G‑d and the Jewish people. Chavouot also means “oaths,” for on this day G‑d swore eternal devotion to us, and we in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—explained that there is special significance to bringing children, even the youngest of infants, to hear the Ten Commandments on Shavuot morning.

Before G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people, He demanded guarantors. The Jews made a number of suggestions, all rejected by G‑d, until they declared, “Our children will be our guarantors that we will cherish and observe the Torah.” G‑d immediately accepted them and agreed to give the Torah.

“By listening to the Ten Commandments on Shavuot morning,” the Rebbe explained, “the words of Torah will be engraved in the hearts and minds of the children. And through them, the Torah will be etched within their parents and grandparents with even greater intensity. Thus, the Ten Commandments, which include within them the entire Torah, will become a part of our lives throughout the entire year.”

 Learn more about the giving of the Torah and what it means to us at 

Shabbat shalom


This Shabbat, the second day of Shavuot in the Diaspora, we recite Yizkor, the remembrance prayer for departed parents, after the morning reading of the Torah.

Writes Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin, “Yizkor, which literally means Remember, is the special memorial prayer for the departed that is recited in the synagogue four times a year: on the last day of Passover, on the second day of Shavuot, on Shemini Atzeret and Yom Kippur. The reason for this prayer is that once a soul has departed from this physical world, it no longer has the ability to do any mitzvahs or acquire more merits. However, those that are still alive in this world, especially their descendants, have the ability through prayer, Torah study and mitzvahs to not only bring merit and elevate the souls of the departed but, if need be, even take them out of Gehinnom (purgatory).”

Esprit sur la matière


The boundary between your spiritual life and your business life is imaginary. They are both one.

Some people think there is no conflict between their work and their time for study, meditation and prayer.

But, on the contrary, they complement one another.

Start your day by connecting it to Torah—the day shines and all its parts work in synchronicity.

Work honestly, carrying the morning’s inspiration in your heart—and your work itself rolls out the deepest wisdom of Torah before your open eyes.

Rabbin Tzvi Freeman

Pensée du Mochiach

Total Immersion in G‑dly Wisdom

The Messianic Era will be one of tremendous prosperity—”delicacies will be commonplace like dust.” That will leave humankind with ample free time—and all the nations of the world will be preoccupied with one pursuit: the study of G-d and the Torah. Moshiach will reveal profound hitherto unknown dimensions of the Torah. The Midrash goes as far as to say that “the Torah which we study in this world is naught in comparison to the Torah of Moshiach.” Furthermore, while our present-day knowledge of G‑d is limited to intellectual perception, when Moshiach will teach about G‑d, we will actually “see” what we are studying. 

Visit for more about the Torah of the Messianic Era—its superior nature as well as the radically different way we will grasp the knowledge.

J’ai une histoire

You Can Do It

As a rabbi, I often encounter Jews who claim that they are unable to bear the entire burden of the ritual commandments. “You are different,” they tell me, “you have more faith than I. You are more able than I. I envy you, but religion is not my cup of tea.” My response is always the same. “Don’t try to do it all at once, do a little bit today and a little more tomorrow. With time, you may even surprise yourself and develop a taste for the religious cup of tea.”

As I speak, I’m always struck by how it easy it is to mistake unwillingness for inability. As I encourage them to move forward, I know that I am not more able than they, only more practiced. I know that with time they too can accustom themselves to the Torah way of life and discover that they, too, are able. They will then know that they never lacked ability, only commitment.

They tell me they can’t, and I think they don’t want to. Is this harsh? Am I being insensitive? There was a time when I would have thought so, but today I know different.

I once helped to organize a large community fair. At the planning meeting, when responsibilities were parceled out, I was asked to recruit fifty volunteers for the fair. I balked at the large number, unsure that I could commit. The leader looked down at me and demanded, “Do you think everyone here knows how they’ll fulfill their commitments? We only know that if we don’t commit, it will certainly not happen.” At the time, I was hurt. Didn’t he understand that I couldn’t commit on behalf of fifty other people? I didn’t say anything but went to work. It took time and effort, but in the end fifty volunteers were recruited and I learned a valuable lesson: if you will it, it will happen.

Empowering Words

When I was a child, my mother always insisted that I finish my meal, homework or chores. I would holler and wail that I wasn’t smart, big or strong enough, but she always knew better. To my argument, “But I can’t,” she’d firmly reply, “But you can!”

At the time, I thought her a demanding mother, completely oblivious to my limitations. Today I know better. If my mother hadn’t taught me to reach beyond my grasp, I could not have been who I am today. The words, “Yes you can,” are not oppressive. They are empowering.

The Inspiring Oath

The Jewish nation received the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. Every year, on the anniversary of this date, this biblical episode is commemorated by Jews around the world during a special holiday called Shavuot, which means “weeks,” thus called because this holiday always falls exactly seven weeks after Passover.

The Hebrew word Chavouot also means “oaths.” The Talmud teaches that G‑d administers an oath to every Jewish soul before it descends into this world, obliging the soul to observe the biblical commandments. Every Jewish soul must take the oath. Every Jewish soul must oblige itself.

But is binding themselves through an oath not fair to those souls that are simply unable to abide by the many laws and restrictions inherent in these commandments? Every soul knows that it is capable of abiding by every commandment, but it worries that it might lack the will to carry through. Taking the oath obliges the soul and raises its latent abilities to the surface. Administering the oath is G-d’s way of saying, “Go ahead and make the commitment. You can do it. I believe in you.”

The day that Jews commemorate receiving the Ten Commandments is the day to remember that empowering oath. The day to remember that G‑d believes in us and empowers us to live up to our commitments.

Rabbin Lazer Gurkow

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