A lot is awry at the moment: political violence in America, white nationalists in the streets, and a general feeling of unease as 5783 kicks off with a renewed sense of dread and antisemitism. A recap of October.
060 | American Jews, This Shavuot it’s Time We Rededicate Ourselves to Social Justice
I wanted to share a piece by Jonathan Schwartz from the Jewish Journal, May 27, 2020: A look back at Shavuot in a different time, when we were locked down and thought at Passover that surely, this plague will pass by Shavuot.
It did not; it steadily is now, finally, and what a blessing!
Speaking of blessings, Schwartz writes:
Shavuot is about new beginnings. In addition to recognizing the beginning of the summer harvest season, it commemorates a foundational event in Jewish history: the Israelites receiving the Torah and the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.
Shavuot reminds us that this covenant is ongoing. The Book of Ruth, traditionally read aloud during Shavuot services, tells the story of Judaism’s first convert. The Book of Ruth ends by enumerating Ruth’s descendants, ending with the great King David — one of the most celebrated rulers of the ancient Jewish people.
Read the full piece here (below) and though it speaks to the work we must do as Jews for our black sisters and brothers, it applies, I think, to all the peoples of the world in need of our help. I won’t bring up “the” conflict here, that’s for a later time; for those suffering across the region this Shabbat and this Ramadan and Shavuot, my heart aches.
— Bobby Apperson