Shavuot is the holiday of remembering Hashem’s greatest gift to us–the Torah. At Sinai, the Jewish people became a people united, a nation with a common purpose. This feeling of belonging and joining with other Jews in a similar fate is something that we try to impart to our NCSYers and Torah High students. When they take part in one of our many programs, it is my hope that they feel a part of something greater than themselves, a deep sense of connection with their Jewish identity that engenders a sense of purpose and meaning. Our participants begin to discover within themselves the beginnings of a mature identity as Jews. They begin to feel and experience that spark that lives deeply within them, and, whether conscious or not, they are reliving that moment when we stood at Sinai and became a people. On Shavuot, four thousand years are compressed into a mere few hours, as we re-experience that moment when we committed ourselves to accepting a great idea, one that was loftier than any one person could shoulder on his own: a life of purpose, meaning, and commitment to improving the world and bringing ultimate meaning to it.
That is what NCSY and Torah High are all about. Our goal is to fan the flames of that spark that has begun to burn in their hearts, to increase the fledgling light to something that burns proud and strong. My hope is that their discovery here at NCSY and Torah High leads to an everlasting and meaningful commitment that will last not only during their lifetime, but will light the way for the future. As we celebrate the giving of the Torah almost 4000 years ago, may we reconnect with its wisdom and find new meaning and inspiration in it for our own lives and future generations.