A Dvar Torah for Shavuot: What Does the Torah NOT Say?

Most everybody knows that Shavuot is the festival that celebrates the receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Most everybody knows that Passover is the festival at celebrates the exodus from Egypt. Most everybody knows the significance of all of the biblical holidays. After all, the tells us what these holidays are for, doesn't it?

Actually, not in every case. There are two holidays that the Torah is silent on as to what they signify. The first is Shavuot, and the second is, believe it or not, Rosh Hashanah. Yes, I mean to say that the Torah does not mention anywhere that Shavuot is the festival of the giving of the Torah and that Rosh Hashanah is the day of judgment. Passover is explained. Sukkot and Yom Kippur are explained. Not Shavuot, not Rosh Hashanah. Why?

The short answer is that in truth, every day of the year has elements of both Shavuot and Rosh Hashanah. If the Torah was to single out these days as being the time of Torah giving and judgment, I might think that the rest of the year is not connected to Torah giving and judgment. This is similar to the fact that Mount Sinai is a location which we can not identify. Unlike the Temple Mount, or any of the other mountains of biblical fame which we know for certain their location, it was God's desire that Mount Sinai as a geographical spot be forgotten. Thus, the universal relevance of Torah is reinforced. It belongs in every place.

The Talmud says that the evil inclination plots against every individual on a daily basis. Each morning, he rises up to tempt us to sin. If God were not there to assist, we would have no chance and ascend into the moral abyss. Therefore, every single day of the year is a day of judgment. Because each day's challenge is different, we are judged on how we met those challenges.

The Talmud also a tributes to God in the following statement: " I created the evil inclination, and I created the Torah as the remedy." Torah also has the capacity to be brand new each and every day. The more one studies, the more insight and novel explanations one reveals. Thus, every day has an element of Shavuot in it. Each new understanding of the teachings of the Torah is like a new visit to Mount Sinai.

By taking the ever renewing nature of the Torah, it's ethical and practical teachings, with us into the battle with the evil inclination, we are properly equipped for victory. Every day is a miniature Rosh Hashanah, and we will succeed in that judgment by actualizing the Shavuot in each day.