Shavuos – Not Just Another Joe

Rabbi Frand relates the following:

The Talmud relates [Pesachim 68b] that Rav Yosef would make a tremendous party on Shavuos.

He would say, “If not for this special day (on which the Torah was given), look how many Yosefs there are in the market place”. If not for the fact that I as a Jew have that precious gift of Torah, I would literally be ‘just another Joe’.
Every Yom Tov has its own message – that idea which we are supposed to appreciate about the holiday. The main idea that Shavuos must inculcate into our psyches is “If not for this day, where would we be? What would we look like without this Torah?”

The scary thing is that if we fail to properly appreciate that which Torah does for our lives, we are left with what the Talmud calls “they have abandoned my Torah”. This is our challenge as we approach the Yom Tov of Shavuos. Everyone should have a good and meaningful holiday.

One comment on “Shavuos – Not Just Another Joe

  1. My Rebbe, Rav Y Bertram used to quote this gemara often. It actually describes R’ Yosef’s visit to the butcher shop where he asks for the most expensive cut of meet. The butcher is surprised as R’ Yosef was a poor man. R’ Yosef replies by saying that he had learned Torah and become elevated by the Torah and therefore was obligated to celebrate the receiving of the Torah more than any other holiday or event. Actually brought down in Halacha that Shavuos is the holiday more than any other Chag to splash out on the best piece of meat to demonstrate how happy we are.

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