Shavuos, aside from being a holiday itself, has the unmatched capacity to turn scores of otherwise ordinary days into semi-holidays along with it.

How so, you ask?

Consider this. During each of the three Regalim festivals, namely Pesach, Shavuos and Sukkos, there is an obligation to bring an offering known as a Chagiga. One who fails to bring his Chagiga before the end of the festival, has no way of rectifying his error. Yet on Shavuos, teaches the Gemara, we allow the procrastinator seven additional days in which he can yet fulfill his Chagiga obligation. Evidently, the seven days following Shavuos retain an element of holiday-ness which allow for the bringing of a holiday-offering even though they are essentially run-of-the-mill days.

Now consider this. In Parshas Emor, Ramban asserts that much like the days between the first and eighth day of Sukkos are considered quasi-holiday [Chol Hamoed], Shavuos is to be similarly considered like the (otherwise nonexistent) eighth day of Pesach, thus rendering the entire Sefira period between the two, quasi-holiday as well.

Do the math. (7+42=?) That’s forty-nine completely ordinary days rendered quasi-holiday simply by virtue of Shavuos’ mere one-day existence.

Quite a feat, don’t you think?

What is it about Shavuos that gives it the potency to turn weekday into holiday?

It’s pretty simple.

On Shavuos, you see, we were given the Torah.

How can any day be ordinary when things as physical as a meal provide an opportunity to connect with God by thanking Him for providing the food? What can possibly be considered mundane in a world in which caring for one’s body is considered a spiritual act, earning a living no less than the fulfillment of God’s will, and honoring parents on par with serving God Himself?

On the day Torah was given, God was taken out of the sanctuary, so to speak, and injected into every aspect of life, down to the un-Godliest of details. Spirituality was released from the confines of specific calendar dates. At last, “holy” could be experienced without “holy-day”. “Spiritual” could be mentioned in the same breath as “physical”. And yes, “ordinary” could seamlessly be transformed into “extraordinary”.

That Shavuos sanctifies its humdrum neighbors is no coincidence, for a Shavuos confined to any given day would be no less preposterous than a Torah confined to any given space, time or activity.

To truly experience Shavuos is to have its liquid holiness spill over and thoroughly saturate our calendar with a Godliness that knows no blackout dates, and a spirituality which simply knows no bounds.


Tags: Chol Hamoed Pesach sefira Shavuos

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