“What Happens On Shavuot?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What happens on Shavuot?

On Shavuot, we celebrate the giving of the Torah. It is the day when those called “Israel,” i.e., those who are directed “straight to God” (i.e. “Israel” comes from the words “Yashar Kel” [“straight to God”]), were given the Torah—the method of spiritual development through free will, as opposed to developing under an unconscious program of development by the upper force.

Through such a discovery, the people of Israel became capable of perceiving and sensing the full reality—the upper force of love and bestowal—and themselves within this reality. Instead of taking unconscious steps in the dark, and not knowing what they truly encounter or why, they decide to direct their own desire at the goal of revealing the complete picture of reality, and they themselves make that determination instead of the upper force doing it to them.

On Shavuot, we celebrate our ability to understand, feel and attain the upper force that works within us, and we acquire the ability to identify ourselves with its acts. This upper force, which is also called “the Creator,” “Nature,” and several other names in the wisdom of Kabbalah, operates whether or not we identify with it. However, by attaining how the upper force works on us through developing our own desire for it before the upper force itself awakens such an attitude in us, we express our love for the Creator. In the wisdom of Kabbalah, this is regarded as “freedom from the angel of death.” (The “angel of death” represents the human ego that makes us unconsciously direct ourselves at corporeal fulfillment at the expense of other people and nature.)

We can then express our own view of the purpose of creation and our path to it. While we cannot choose any other purpose or path to it, since they are predetermined, our freedom in such a process is our own participation in it, our own decision, choice and presence to partake in the process. Otherwise, we have no freedom. The upper force gave us a chance to participate freely in creation. It means that we assert ourselves and our independence, which happens to the extent that we identify ourselves with the upper force. This is the true meaning of becoming a human being (“Adam” [“human” in Hebrew], from the words “Domeh le Elyon” [“similar to the most high”]).

Based on the first part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson on May 29, 2011, Shamati article 40, “The Giving of the Torah.”
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

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