Shavuot: Standing at Sinai

Transcending the pettiness that divides us.

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Comments (22)

(22) Anonymous, May 31, 2009 6:16 PM

Mrs. Palatnik, you're correct again

I agree with you but maybe I don't practice what I preach. As much as I say it shouldn't or doesn't bother me or affect me, when I see a guy with this type of kipa or that type, I assume yeshivish or tzioni. I try not to but it divides us sort of. I love em both (I hope) but I still see my bros. as different. Maybe there's nothing wrong with that but the key is to remember to love them. Only our enemies know how to unite us, they don't see religious or secular, they see one thing: A JEW. Good luck in loving your fellows, there's only a fraction of a percent of us, if you don't like your bros and sis's, who will?

(21) Chris, May 29, 2009 8:41 PM

Thanks Lori - love you insights.

A friend from high school whom I caught up with on Facebook turned me on to your blog and Aish. (Actually, I already used Aish for info for my Hebrew School class.) He was born and raised Jewish, I converted. I love listening to your commentary every week, makes me feel good. Good Shabbos.

(20) ruth housman, May 29, 2009 12:56 PM

a slice of apple "pi"

Hi, your example of people bristling over the same greeting, in two languages certainly seems ridiculous and not about the underlying positivity of greeting. I think you are still a "personal trainer" and a luminous one, at that. We are one, and we are, separate. It's the central dilemma of all life, meaning unity in diversity. We need diversity, we need the fire, and perhaps the world was constructed in this way, for the dialogue and the morality discussions that are about what's essential, what we need to keep, and what we can surely, toss. We took a bite of the "apple" in the Garden, and now we are experiencing a lot of sound bytes, both "sound", being meaningful, and also dissonant, another kind of "sounding off". What's important is this: LOVE, compassionate care, and this is the way we should be going around the world. Let's go global with LOVE and make it GLOW BALL! We are all of us players. We can make it sing.

(19) Miriam, May 27, 2009 8:19 AM

Fabulous! Thank you!

(18) Rochelle, May 27, 2009 6:15 AM

The voice of reason, I liked that! Thanks and gut/good/yom tov/chag sameyach!!! enjoy them all...

(17) Meira, May 26, 2009 11:21 AM

To be as one as we were

Lori took greeting part just as an example of our diversity and how it works against us. The question is what should we do to be as one as we were. We need to develop a strategy how to reunite. No doubt it is easy to start with leaders. But our leaders don’t want changes. So let’s start from the bottom. Let’s have more communications on personal level between people of different affiliations and develop the strategy that would get us together and help to see the strongest sides of our neighbors, so we would be able to learn from each other, have a healthy open discussion, reflect on different ideas and approaches, excrete habits and bias that don’t work and appreciate the diversity that we have.

(16) Yossi, May 26, 2009 10:20 AM

"GOOD" changes from language to language

Why should anybody insist on the word "good" for shabbat when (a)it is different in every language and therefore can never be a Jewish consensis and (b)Shabbat "shalom" contains for more depth and meaning than a mere "good"

(15) Harry Kuperschmidt, May 26, 2009 9:01 AM

Live and let Live

Thank you Lori for the nice little story with the big message. I learned a short time ago, if I could only give needing to be "right" all the time, I could live a much more peaceful life. Just allowing others to be who they are without me trying to "fix" them brought me a lttle closer (I hope) to God's infinite wisdom and love. He put all of here. He loves us all equally. Who am i to say any of His children should do things to suit the way I think they ought to be done. God wants us all to be happy in his wisdom, I believe. So enjoy, and let others do likewise.

(14) RR, May 26, 2009 8:06 AM

Please HaShm, Not This

THIS does not divide us. Sure, individuals, including myself, have the ways that they choose to do things. This doesn't mean that we feel real or imagined division from those who do things differently. Oh, I will be the 1st to admit that we are too divided. We have to get over our differences and embrace all Jews as one beloved family. The greeting issue dicussed in this clip can be symbolic of bigger issues that divide us (and shouldn't), but it, in and of itself (please HaShm) does not divide us. When I 1st was becoming frum, I was surrounded (and still am) by "gut Shabbos people". Somewhere along the line, I chose to start saying "Shabbat shalom". Nobody asked me to choose between the 2, and often, "gut Shabbos" still comes out of my mouth. Even though I prefer saying Shabbat shalom, I still love those who say "gut Shabbos" just the same.

(13) Anonymous, May 26, 2009 7:31 AM

Hmmmm ...

... both ways bring connection to someone who feels alone. I wonder if people who don't greet me are worried about this? How much I would be grateful for any kind of greeting!

(12) Ashley Bell, May 26, 2009 5:05 AM

To quibble over phrasing against Torah

Torah was received by us, a unified people as one. The Jewish people were one at Sinai. Since Shabbat is of Torah, it must follow that 'Gutt Shabbos' & 'Shabbat Shalom' are one & the same in terms of spirit & merit. Why? Because Torah Law makes us one. The spirit of Shabbat has one universal meaning as a central tenet of Judaism. To divide the meaning of the two phrases by preferring one over the other would go against Torah? I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud.

(11) Elizabeth Klein, May 25, 2009 8:23 PM

thank you so very much Lori!

In order for a message to be received, the messenger has to connect with the viewer. Thank you, Lori, for being such an excellent messanger. I'm a Ba'alas T'shuvah (about 10 years and growing), and I live and work in several "Jewish worlds." Your messages are relavant AND non-threatening! Thank you so very much for giving me a chance to share the message of (another 'frumie') to those who are not yet ready to open to Yiddishkeit. We don't know the power of our words, but I have already seen the power of yours, and I'm truly grateful! May you have a meaningful Shavuous, and may this auspicious time give you the brocha and chizuk to continue your excellent work! Elizabeth Klein

(10) SusanE, May 25, 2009 8:48 AM

So There are THREE Major Divisions that Think they Are RIGHT

Thank you for the video this week Lori. So am I understanding this correctly? There are the Shabbat Shalom people who think they are right, and the Good Shabbos people who think they are right and the people like Lori who think they are right because they tolerate both views. Goodness, quite a dilemna isn't it? Has it ever been otherwise?

(9) Ilene, May 25, 2009 8:17 AM

Divided we fall

I honestly did not understand the difference between Shabbat Shalom and Good Shabbos, that one was "right" and one was "wrong" to some people. I have always used them interchangeably, but I guess that demonostrates where I land. I believe that sometimes by cheerfully modeling our ignorance of differences we allow others to become more tolerant as well. We are all Jews, and Hashem knows what is in our hearts. May you have a wonderful Shavuos/t, however you say it. I look forward to saying Good Shabbos AND Shabbat Shalom to you in a few weeks when I come to Israel with the JWRP.

(8) Anonymous, May 25, 2009 5:55 AM

pray for unity

Tehillim 133:1 says How good and how pleasant is the dewlling of brothers, moreover, in unity. I have heard of how Shammai said keep a mitzvah this way and Hillel said keep it this way. But I think a piont overlooked hear is that nither of these men said do not do the Mitzvot.What matters is we keep the Mitzvot, not so much how we keep them.

(7) sharona, May 24, 2009 7:32 PM


I agree. Some divisons are good and some are not so. For instance, a kid at school should stay away from bad influences. But we shouldn't be divided because of diff dialects . May we Jews unite in Torah Happy shavuos/t

(6) Miriam, May 24, 2009 2:23 PM

Beautiful! I hope your message spreads far and wide and this Shavuos we iy'H we can sore once again to such a madreigor of clarity - Ish Echod B'Lev Echod!

(5) Feigele, May 24, 2009 12:57 PM

Excuses! Chmexcuses!

Sorry but I couldn’t hear the video. So I am only commenting on Yisroel Pollack’s comment # 1. How about meeting half way! I traveled part of the world and in each country I had to adapt to their customs. As long as I was greeting people in any language, it was ok for everyone. How chocking and appalling it is to experience such animosity between Ashkenazim (Achkenase in French) and Sephardim (Sephardique in French) does that matter? Such a clash among Jew people. When I was 17, I went on a boat, the “Artza” to Israel. I was all by myself, so I mingled with everyone knowing that they were all Jewish, it made me feel safe and at home. To my utmost surprise, the boat was divided in two. One side with the Ashkenazim, one side with the Sephardim. When I spoke with one or the other, not differentiating any of them, each side would say the same thing to me: stay with us, don’t go with them. King Solomon might have say: “I will cut the boat in two pieces and when you decide to make peace among yourselves, I will put it all together again”. Of course, already hardheaded, I didn’t listen to anyone and kept talking to everybody, no matter which side they were on. I was young but felt so sadden by this distinction among Jews, how unfair this predicament was and also how archaic and childish these people’s attitudes were. If among Jews, there is such a gap, how can other nations accept us? I went online on a Sephardic site and was appalled again by their criticisms and hatred about the Ashkenazim, accusing them of imposing and teaching their ways of life and that there were more Ashkenazi schools than Sephardic ones, which was answered by someone: why don’t you build some! But it was so offensive, I’m not sure if they received my comments because I found out that the site was closed, and for good reasons I believe. Shabbat Shalom, Gute Shabbos, Yom Tov, have a good day or just Chalom! Any of them would warm up your heart!

(4) Uri Yitzchak, May 24, 2009 12:07 PM

We are all One

Yes, it does not matter from which geographical area we come from. We are the same People with One Torah and share the same One G-d. Happy Shavuot or Shavuos to you Lori and all Israel

(3) Iris, May 24, 2009 9:21 AM

My thoughts exactly,Lori

Something to think about. Does it really matter what words are spoken,if the greeter is truly sincere with his words,and not said out of habit with no warmth at all?

(2) Rosen, May 24, 2009 8:17 AM

unity vs. pickiness

It's certainly important and reassuring that the Jews are the only people to have been a united front at one point. Although many Jews may disagree with one another such as two of them with three different opinions, it seems like there is overall more unity in Judaism than there is among the different sects in Christianity and Islam. I'm not orthodox, however the orthodox community, such as those who identify themselves as traditional and Chabad Lubavitch sure seem very genuine in being welcoming to a fairly conservative Jew such as myself...When it comes to searching for my bashert, I understand that she must be Jewish. However, even though I know the importance and significance of marrying a Jew, I tend to be picky with the Jewish women when I view their profiles on the Jewish dating and matchmaking websites Jdate and SawyouatSinai due to the interests that I don't think correlate with mine. For instance, since I think of myself as an introvert with a lifestyle of selected activities, many of the profiles appear to have active or very active lifestyles along with interests that may overwhelm me. Furthermore, if I come across a certain outgoing interest a profile I am viewing, I tend to decline her. Other times when I do accept someone's profile match, the female declines me for whatever reason. Thus, pickiness and declining others can work both ways between male and female. Anticipating that my bashert is out there somewhere, or at least finding those who are candidates who are likely "Mrs. Right" for me, how can I better determine a good match for me, either with closely related interests or those that are a bit out-of-kilter from mine?

(1) Yisroel Pollack, May 24, 2009 8:11 AM

Not Lost in the Translation

I live in the middle of a neighborhood here in Brooklyn that's a mixture of Sefardi and Ashkenazi Jews, with the Sefardi element, especially Syrian, predominating. I'm Askenazi, and the Syrian Jews don't know me and I don't know them (we daven in our separate shuls). But on Shabbos, when we, total strangers, meet on the Parkway (each headed in the opposite direction), it's always a question of who will greet whom first: he with Shabbat Shalom or me with Good Shabbos! (Lamentably, it's usually he who wins.) I always get the feeling that we both know we're both saying the exact same thing.


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