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Receiving the Torah: Today and Forever

A week ago we celebrated Shavuot, and tonight, Friday night, we will once again mention it. Every Friday night we begin our Shabbat meal with kiddush, in which we say "the sixth day," which alludes not only to the sixth day of creation but also to the sixth day of Sivan--the giving of the Torah.Chabad, Torah, Lubavitch

These words are taken from the end of the Torah's description of the six days of creation: "And G-d saw all that He had done, and it was very good. And it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day." As is known, the description of each of the days of creation ends a similar way: "And it was evening and it was morning, a fifth day," or "a fourth day," "a third day." But only the sixth day has the letter "hei" in front of it -- "the sixth day." This shows that it alludes not only to the sixth day of creation but also to the day on which the Torah was given. Indeed, for this day all of creation awaited, since the beginning of time.

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Shabbat is not the only day of the week on which we mention the giving of the Torah. Every morning, we bless G-d: "Blessed are You Who gives us the Torah."

It is noteworthy that we do not say the word "gave," in past tense, but "gives," in present tense. Although the Torah was given over 3322 years ago, it is an experience that we relive every day, every moment. When the Torah was given, we received a complete set of instructions for life upon this earth; it applies not only to the distant past but to every event that will ever occur. Every day, we receive new energies from G-d to fulfill His Torah. Moses received the Torah on Sinai, and we are still receiving it, to this day.

On its face, it is difficult for people like us to identify the timeless message in the Torah. How relevant are those stories to our modern-day reality? Our sages throughout the generations have transmitted to us the oral Torah, which gives us the tools to interpret the written Torah so that we understand its message for each generation, for every circumstance.

It is crucial for us to remember this, and to remember that at each stage of our journey G-d gives us the abilities and the tools to contend with the situation. That is why we thank G-d each day, "Who gives us the Torah," present tense. We remind ourselves that the giving of the Torah was not a one-time event but one that repeats itself continuously, throughout our history. Today, this very day, G-d is giving us the tools to enable us to live a rich, fulfilling life.

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We bless the Giver of the Torah once each morning during our morning blessings. We also have an opportunity to say this blessing if we are called to read from the Torah.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that this blessing will be said on another occasion -- when Moshiach comes. As is known, in the time of Redemption Moshiach will teach revolutionary new concepts in Torah, to the extent that it will be a "new Torah" compared to what we had before. Therefore we will bless G-d once again, "Who gives us the Torah."

Our ability to understand and appreciate the Torah of Moshiach depends on our preparation. The more we study the Torah now, particularly the Torah sources that speak about the Redemption, the better a position we will be in to understand the teachings of Moshiach.
 

 


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