Shavuos: A Deeper look:
Now, the great Rebbe Avraham Schorr shlita asks the common question; why did HaKadosh Baruch Hu give us the Torah in the midbar (wilderness)? Many have asked this question. But he gives a beautiful possible answer: He quotes from the part in Parshas Eikev, (Devarim 8:15), where we are told that in the wilderness, there were snakes, fiery serpents, scorpions, etc.. He says that the Sefarim HaKedoshim (holy books) tell us that these dangers, were not only physical dangers, but spiritual ones as well. Because, as we know, a nachash (snake) represents evil, like the nachash in Parshas Bereisheis, etc. So, in other words, there was great danger in the midbar (wilderness)!! But, we're now back to the question; why, indeed, did Hashem give us the Torah in the midbar? So he explains a very nice idea: Nowadays, people might say that, "Oh, we can't keep the Torah to as high levels anymore. Back when Hashem gave us the Torah, things were easy, but now things aren't!!" But no!! We cannot say this, he explains, because, back when Hashem gave us the Torah, there we're more dangers likely than nowadays! The midbar was probably harder than our situation now. So, in other words, we can never have any excuse to not keep the Torah to a high level. Every Jew must always keep Hashem's holy Torah well, and may Hashem help us all to do this, Amein.
Rebbe Avraham Schorr shlita goes on to discuss another concept with Torah; the fact that it is sweeter than honey. He asks though; how do we know that it is sweter than honey? Because, he explains, we got it right after the Mon (manna). The Torah (Parshas Beshalach - Shemos 16:31) describes the Mon as tasting like a wafer with honey. And, after we started to have that, a little while later, Hashem gave us something sweeter - the holy Torah. But then he asks; what does it mean to us nowadays that the Torah is sweeter than honey? He answers by quoting an explanation of the holy Chafetz Chaim zt"l: The Chafetz Chaim quotes an opinion of the Rosh, that if you have honey, and there are little pieces of bee in it, you may still eat the honey. Because the honey is so sweet, that it changes something that was issur (not allowed) to being muttar (allowed). (Though we do not hold like him). This, says the Chafetz Chaim, is the message for us: The Torah is so sweet, that when one learns it, it can change them from being a bad person to a good person!! From being bad to good. It is so sweet!! This is very, very important to remember, always.
Rebbe Schorr shlita then quotes from the Sefas Emes (Rebbe Yehuda Leiv Alter zt"l): The Sefas Emes zt"l gives a mashal (parable) of a king who sends his soldiers into battle without weapons. This is a terrible ruler obviously! But Hashem, Who is the Av HaRachamim (Father of Mercy) gave us weapons obviously, to go and fight our war with the Yetzer hara (Evil inclination). What weapons? The Torah! That is our weapon. As Gemara Bava Basra 16a says: "HaKadosh Baruch Hu created the Yetzer hara; He created Torah for it as a remedy." So in order to beat our Yetzer hara, we must learn Hashem's Holy Torah. This is very important.
This year, hopefully, we have climbed the levels during the Omer, and are ready to receive the Torah. We should be on a high enough spiritual level to be able to stay up all night learning, without distraction. And we must take whatever time we have left before Shavuos to prepare ourselves properly to receive the Torah. Baruch Hashem, this year, we have Shabbos right before Shavuos. This will help us get in a proper mood for this Holiday, as we will be coming into it already in a spiritual mind-set, B'Eizer Hashem.
I hope that these insights help to enrich everybody's Shavuos! Please feel free to comment. And I wish every single Jew a wonderful, wonderful Shavuos. Amein, so may it be His Will.
Let us end off with a prayer: Please Hashem, help us all be ready to receive the Torah this year! And please send Mashiach very, very speedily in our days. Amein.