Preparing for the Festival of Mattan Torah in Parshas Behar/Bechukotai from Dvar Malchus
Shavuos, the festival of Mattan Torah, The Giving of the Torah, represents the wedding of Hashem and the Jewish people, the merging of the physical and spiritual worlds – the fulfillment of the purpose of Creation. It is the day that Hashem revealed Himself to the Jewish people by showing us that we are engraved in the ‘tablets of His Heart’, represented by the luchos (the tablets of the Ten Commandments).
It is no surprise that Shavuos is the birthday and yartzeit of David Hamelech from whom the Messianic kingship originates. It is also the yartzeit of the Baal Shem Tov who began the process of making every single Jew the inheritor of this kingship by disseminating Chassidus to the four corners of the world. The birthday of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, through whom Hashem gave the Mattan Torah of the pnimiyus (mystical teachings) of the Torah, is said to be on Shavuot.
Additionally, the nesius (leadership) of the Tzemach Tzedek, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, began on Shavuot, representing the chazakah, the permanent establishment of the teachings of the Alter Rebbe as engraved and expressed by the Alter Rebbe himself, his son, the Mitteler Rebbe and the Tzemach Tzedek. These three Rebbeim solidified, codified and revealed the ‘Torah Chadasha’ of Moshiach in the form of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Orach, the Tanya, and Torah Or and Likkutei Torah. The mighty edifice that they painstakingly built is the basis for all of Chabad Chassidus and culminated on Shavuos with the beginning of the leadership of the Tzemach Tzedek.
The entire world was only created for the sake of the Torah and thus, there is a symbiotic relationship between Torah and Creation. The world was created by the ten utterances, – Aseres Hamamaaros – in which Hashem created the entire world with all of it’s details by speaking. “Hashem said, ‘Let there be light and there was light,’ teaches us that Hashem’s speech is the act of Creation. The giving of the Torah deepens our understanding of Hashem’s speech by the Aseres Hadibbros (the Ten Commandments), in which the idea of Hashem’s Will is achieved by obeying his commandments ‘dibros.’ When the Jewish people achieve the requisite humility and self-abnegation to accept Hashem’s Will by doing His commands or mitzvos, not only do we bond with Hashem, we actually express Hashem’s essence through the physical world, and create peace and unity in ourselves, our relationship to others and the world.
This is why Hashem gave the Torah on Har Sinai, the humblest of mountains, because humility is the preparation for receiving the Torah. This is also the explanation of footnote 20 in the Davar Malchus on Parshas Bechukotai in which the Rebbe, Melech Hamoshiach, states that ‘Atzeres (Shavuos) is the time of the Rosh Hashana of the fruits of the trees.’ Fruits represent both reward, achievement and progeny but even deeper, they represent pleasure. Thus, by obeying Hashem’s Will, nullifying our egos, we are able to experience true pleasure while giving pleasure to Hashem and our fellow man as well as obtain our reward – the fruits of our labors.
Ezra Hasofer established the custom of reading Parshas Bechukotai two Shabbosim prior to Shavuos. Bechukotai, means engraving, expressing the permanent, indelible, unchangeable fundamental and essential unity that exists between every single Jew and Hashem. This relationship, while being the source of all blessing can also become the opposite when it is not honored or given it’s sacred space in the heart of the Jew. In this parsha, Hashem therefore pleads with us to accept his inextricable love and unity with every Jew. This parsha is the essence statement in which Hashem explains that the essence of the Jew is Hashem’s own Essence, the profundity of which is the redemption with Melech Hamoshiach.