Torah Portion of the Week: The Mysterious Gift of Torah

Shavuot: Just as on Passover we tell the story of the Exodus, Shavuot is an opportunity to talk about the granting of the Torah, to try to describe how the text was consolidated and revealed – its history.

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Talmudic tradition calls Shavuot the festival of the granting of the Torah. Not surprisingly, the Torah itself does not describe the holiday this way, chiefly because doing so would connote a perception of the...