Shavuot celebrates the receiving of Torah on Mount Sinai, and coincides with the wheat harvest in ancient Israel. At BaMidbar, Shavuot will be an opportunity to think about insight and revelation, and the changes of the seasons and ourselves.
Leading up to the holiday participants had a Growth Group exploring the question of what is your Torah? Field Guides shared the following story, a midrash that comes from the prophet Elijah:
“A king had two servants, each of whom he loved dearly. He gave each a measure of wheat and a bundle of flax—and left. One servant faithfully preserved what he had been given, careful lest he in any way alter the precious trust he had been given. The other took the wheat and ground it, removed the chaff, kneaded it, and baked it into a loaf of bread. Then he took the flax and spun it and wove it into a cloth, which he spread over the bread. When the king returned, he rejoiced in sharing the cloth and the bread with the second servant—and the first servant was distraught. When the Holy Blessed One gave the Torah to Israel, God gave it to them as wheat from which to produce flour, and as flax from which to produce cloth.”
The Torah is precious, and it was not given in order to remain the same for all time and for every person. What we do with the Torah matters. How we make it relevant to our lives matters. On Pesach we received our freedom, but as the group discussed over the course of the Omer, freedom without structure can be dangerous. As we approach Shavuot, we honor the structures we set up and commitments we make to living well.
Participants then had time to reflect on this story and conversation and answer the questions:
What are your ten commandments? What rules are you making for yourself that you can commit to or aspire to?
The answers to these prompts will be shared during a sunrise hike, where students will summit a mountain near the BaMidbar ranch. The hike will reenact the experience of Moses and B’nai Yisrael by hiking a mountain, and sharing our Torah with one another.
As we head into the holiday of Shavuot, take a moment to ask yourself, what are my ten commandments? What structures do I need in place for me to make the Torah a part of my life?
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Chag Sameach from all of us at BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy
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Bamidbar Wilderness Therapy is a program of Ramah in the Rockies.