Written by: Rabbi Mordechai Raizman
Soon, the Yom Tov of Shavuos will begin. On Shavuos, we celebrate the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai to our ancestors. The question arises why are we remembering the first Luchos (Tablets) that were given on Shavuos and not the second set of Luchos that were given on Yom Kippur? The first set of Luchos didn’t last due to our ancestors’ sin in building the golden calf while the second set remains with us today. Shouldn’t we celebrate the one that lasted? What was so important in the giving of the first Luchos that we celebrate its time of giving?
The Ramchal (a prominent 18th c. Jewish philosopher) explains that the first encounter at Mount Sinai still has an effect on us today. That was the moment that we were commanded to follow Hashem’s mitzvos. We were given the charge to live a life with a higher set of values and morals than the rest of the world. G-d gave us the ability to make an impact on this world and that ability doesn’t leave us even when we fall short. It is always there for us to tap into. Therefore, we celebrate on Shavuos the potential we all have for greatness by accepting the mission that G-d gave us. May we all be able to reach inside ourselves and fulfill our potential in our daily lives.