Crash Course in Shavuot

A fascinating, big picture overview of the holiday of Shavuot and the Ten Commandments.

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Comments (28)

(21) Neria, May 26, 2017 5:50 PM

thank you

Thank you for the upbeat, positive Shavuot lesson and motivation to celebrate this holiday even more! Yes, welcoming all our holidays with smiles creates more light!

(20) Sam, May 20, 2015 6:14 AM


This is a very good teaching. I am going to use it to my "O"level class that look at Shavuot and its super!!!!!!!

(19) lillian zack, May 13, 2013 8:30 PM

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Abe, May 15, 2013 2:49 AM

My friend the answers are there right in front of you i'm 36 in the military I went through a rough life i stopped believing in god when i was 18 or so i thought i had it all, I thought i knew it all as well till one day I got stopped dead in my tracks And i so knew it was hashem telling me and giving me the chance to change my life around before i wind up either dead or in jail for the rest of my life. Now at 36 just recently had major back surgery and a year later a major blod clot that traveled to my lungs. For me i love helping jews (and righteous gentiles) it gives me joy and brings me at peace with myself. God listens to everyone's prayer. all you have to do is ask him to help you in your time of need. I wish i could talk to you more because i can't really write a book here. OH AND I WILL BE MOVING TO CANADA AFTER I GET OUT OF THE ARMY TO MARRY MY BEAUTIFUL BELOVED in montreal please reply back...

(18) Gregory V. Boulware, May 13, 2013 5:03 PM

~"Wuditu and the Eye of Cain"~


This was a very good lesson and enlightenment.




(17) Jerry Lieberman, May 13, 2013 2:36 PM

R. Goldhar does it again

Rabbi Goldahr waves his magic again. He teaches succinctly and effectively and we are all better off from his teaching.

(16) Anonymous, May 13, 2013 2:24 PM

Shalom Rabbi,
I have been following your crash courses and they are always very edifying. I have decided to convert to Judaism, after many years of pondering. It has been like a flame in me, one which I can no longer hide. Just like Ruth said in Ruth 1:16, your people shall be my people and your G-d my G-d. Thank you very much for all your crash courses and Chag Sameach.

(15) graham sharp, May 12, 2013 9:52 PM


Shalom Rabbi,

Love Torah & Hebrew Language as been learning for 15 months and have a lovely Teacher Tovi.

(14) Anonymous, June 2, 2012 1:13 PM

it's not fair to blame GOD for our misfortunes, when HE gave us HIS guidelines within HIS mitzvot to HONOUR HIS covenant .Lets put ourselves in HIS place or as parents in regard to our children, and imagine the hurt and disapiontment when we stray. KNOW him through HIS HOLY SPIRIT and connect to HIM through HIS DIVINE PRENCENCE [SHECHINAH] in order to aknowledge HIS covenant even through the most trying times.the holocaust was an awakening and a strengthing of our faith both than and NOW.It brought a people under the the most horrendes acts in historyinto the realisation of his infinite presence without giving in to pressure or succumbing to evil. It brought a people scattered around the world together in spirit with the impact of TORAH as THE basis and foundation of our FAITH.ANYONE who went through the holocaust would NEVER trade their experiencesfor their faith,that's how firm and united we stand as we grow stronger in our faith.

(13) Anonymous, May 25, 2012 9:05 AM

Please tell the truth

If the covenant is like a marriage and G-d protects our people, etc.etc. and you "simplify complex subject matter", why was He no where to be found when 1.5 million of his cherished chosen children were murdered and what do we tell our own that they won't live in fear of abandonment by G-d, or in the grips of hatred fir "the others." 2) How can we work towards eradicating the conditions in which evil arises.

Avraham Goldhar, May 29, 2012 5:00 PM

Who abandons whom?

G-d does tell us explicitly in the Torah that there will be times in history that "He will hide His face" so much so that we ask, "Is it not because my G-d is not in my midst that these evils have come upon me?" I highly recommend seeing the verses inside, Deuteronomy - Chapter 31, Verse 17. For proper context, read from verse 15 - 19. In terms of what to teach our children, I think one of the most obvious lessons from the Holocaust is that one should never trust any society that proclaims that Man can be the arbiter of his own morality. Germany, the vanguard of secular humanism , exposed the idea that evil has free reign when people want to be free from G-d. Teach your children that G-d is the ultimate source and guide for what is good, and evil partners with those that fight against Him. And while I readily admit many wars have been fought over religion, we need to ask who these nations are choosing as their god, or His messenger. I hope this helps. Avraham

Gary, May 30, 2012 5:25 PM

Who Abandons Whom

The Jews who died in the holocaust did not die because they abandoned G-d. There no guarantees. Doing "what G-d wants" is not always clear and one should never, ever blame the victims for the atrocities of others. Teach your children to obey the golden rule, think about others, consider the ramifications of their actions and to follow their hearts, while knowing that what they do impacts others. Teach them to be kind and generous and to look after each other and all other people as well. Teach them to question. Love them. They will then grow up secure and not worrying about whether G-d will abandon them. G-d has given us rules for living that we must all interpret and use wisely based on our circumstances. The answer is not in heaven. But that's all for the good. Don't get distracted by G-d. Focus on what you can do and what you know is right. G-d will provide guidance but does not guarantee a result.

Miriam, May 21, 2015 11:14 AM

By definition, G-d is not understandable

since He is not human. If a human could understand G-d, as one Rabbi put it, "Who wants to believe is such a G-d?" But while we don't understand why G-d does everything He does we do know everything He does is for good, although we, with our limited human minds, cannot comprehend all.
This was in fact the question that Moses asked G-d when he said, "Hareini na et kvodcha", Please, show me your honor. He was saying: Show me how You work. Let me understand why bad things could happen to good people.
G-d's answer was, "Ki lo yirani adam vachai", no man can see me and still live. In your human form, Moses, you can't understand me.
One day, in the afterworld, after each person passes on, they will understand why things happen.
The story goes of the Rabbi who promises his friend to come to him in a dream after death and "tell you all the answers". He comes in the dream and says, "when I got up here and understood the world with such clarity, I couldn't remember the questions."
Bottom line, we're not here in this world to party. We're here to accomplish. When we don't understand things, we are supposed to hold on to our faith in G-d and keep on doing his Mitzvot. This is the greatest accomplishment.
Also: Sara Yoheved Rigler's article on Aish called "The Party" is excellent.

(12) Esther, May 23, 2012 5:07 PM

Shavuot - an idea whose time has come

Being the "caretakers" of the Commandments, and specially since Jews are scattered all throughout the world, it is imcumbent that we realize that the world needs Torah, for its pleasant ways of peace and harmony. May the observance of Shavuot sweeten the world for a Gift that was initially intended for all of humanity which at that moment turned it down. May our observance of Shavuot also pave the wave for a united Jerusalem, and the Third and Final Beit Hamikdash, that the entire world be blessed with the knowledge of One G-d, and His One Law. With gratitude to HaShem for this crash course, and also for Rabbi Goldhar's teachings.

(11) Celeste Duckworth, May 23, 2012 11:28 AM

good video and short

You will like this for sure

(10) Sarah, May 23, 2012 5:54 AM

These videos are very helpful for learning about the Holidays.I appreciate them:)

(9) victor o. obinna, June 10, 2011 9:47 AM


Dear Author and i wishe you all a merry shavous! yours sincerely victor obinna ogugua

(8) Anonymous, June 9, 2011 11:33 AM

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Dvirah, June 9, 2011 4:27 PM

Special Events

You seem to have forgotten the burning bush Moshe saw, which also appeared to be aflame but didn't burn up. I think what was perceived as fire was a spiritual force.

(7) Antonio Perez, June 8, 2011 11:19 PM

Crash Coarse in Shavuot

Happy Shavuot!

(6) Sharon Engram, June 7, 2011 3:02 PM

Awesome Teaching

Thank you for this teaching...

(5) levi, June 6, 2011 10:35 PM

wrong shape

the tablets were square, not round, on top.

(4) abbie adler, June 6, 2011 5:55 PM


I look for your crash courses since you did the excellent one on Passover. I would love to learn how to mprove my memory, is there a crash course? I would also like to learn about the meaning and importance of our names and how to observe yartzsit for parents.

(3) Kelly Rebekah ben-Maimon, June 6, 2011 2:07 PM

Crash course regarding Shavuot is excellent

To explain this particular festival so succinctly is breathtaking beautiful. The empahsis to jewish unity and seeing beyond individual differences is to be applauded thank you... Hag Sameach

(2) David Talbot, June 6, 2011 3:42 AM

8th Commandment

Great piece, but in enumerating the 10 Commandments you mentioned that #8 was: "do not kidnap." Is this some new concept? I learned and always heard, up to tonight, that #8 is not to steal. In fact, I have never heard kidnap ever as one of the 10 commandments. Can you elaborate, please. Toda ve Chag Sameach.

MOISHE, June 6, 2011 1:08 PM

Do not kidnap

The Talmud explains that the 8th commandment is referring to "Kidnapping". Although the Talmud goes on to prove it, our Sages also knew this by word of mouth from the Oral Transmission given by G-D to Moses himself, like many other written statements in the Written Torah, we need the Oral transmission to properly understand them.

Avraham Goldhar, June 10, 2011 3:25 PM

Don't Kidnap vs. Don't Steal

Dear David, The Torah tells us not to steal twice, once in the 10 commandments, and the other in Leviticus 19:12. The Talmud clarifies that the one in the 10 commandments is referring to kidnapping because it is preceded by the prohibitions of murder and adultery that deal with people. The one in Leviticus in context deals with monetary issues. Thanks for asking. Avraham Goldhar

(1) Anonymous, June 5, 2011 8:30 PM

very very good crash course i hope you do this for all the holidays i learned a lot thank you


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