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Shavuot – Come! Look in the Mirror

Posted by Rabbi Ron Symons on May 20, 2016

We do it every day.  Maybe twice.  Maybe three times.  And each time we look in the mirror, we very well might see something different: a hair out of place, a blemish, a twinkle in the eye, a sense of calm….

Jewish wisdom encourages mirror-gazing…. of a different type.  You see, our collective mirror stood from ground to sky at a place called Mt. Sinai shortly after the Exodus.  Some 1,300 years ago, the rabbis of that generation taught us:

God appeared to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai like a mirror in which many faces can be reflected.  A thousand may look at it and it reflects each of them.

Midrash Pesikta de Rav Kahana, Piska 12:185

On Saturday night June 11, when Jews around the world will celebrate the festival Shavuot, the day on which we commemorate standing at Mt. Sinai and receiving the Torah, the Jewish community in Pittsburgh will gather at the JCC beginning at 10 PM in order to do something that’s part of our DNA:  To look in the mirror and see ourselves in the light of Jewish wisdom.

Each of the hundreds of people who will attend the Tikkun Leyl Shavuot (the late night study in honor of Shavuot) will look in the mirror and despite standing side by side with neighbors and parents, children and friends, will see her own unique reflection in the mirror, his own reflection in the light of Jewish wisdom.

I guarantee you this:  You might never look at yourself the same way in the mirror.

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