Over dinner, my children began to sing this song they learned in school. “We’re building a world of Torah, we’re building a world of Torah, one person at a time. And the world goes round and round and round.”
This is the essence of Shavuot-revelation at Mount Sinai, but the act of building a world of Torah. It does not happen magically. In connection with the commandment, “Honor your father and mother,” our Rabbis teach; one refers to the Written Torah and the other to the Oral Torah. One parent is usually more strict, the other more tender and tolerant. On Shavuot, we speak of Torah, but we refer to two Torahs. Rabbi Israel Leventhal teaches, “Two that, like our parents, form a unity un purpose and in function.”
The Written Law is strict and authoritative, the Oral Law considers the circumstances. The best example-the Written Law tell us “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” The Oral Law comes to clarify-the guilty party must pay damages to the injured.
Rabbi Leventhal leaves us with a blessing, that I believe is the same song that my children were singing at dinner. “Blessed is the child who enjoys the guiding hand of Torah. Blesses indeed have we Jews been that our Torah has functioned as the role of a parent.”
So yes, build the world of Torah one person at a time—connect to the family that Torah creates.