Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
Sages and Saints
As mentioned in a previous Covenant and Conversation, there was an ongoing debate between the sages as to whether the nazirite -- whose laws are outlined in today's parsha -- was to be praised or not. Recall that the nazirite was someone who voluntarily, usually for a specified period, undertook a special form of holiness. This meant that he was forbidden to consume wine or any grape products, to have a haircut and to defile himself by contact with the dead.
The preparations for any given event give us an idea as to the substance of the anticipated event. The woman in a bridal boutique purchasing a white wedding gown is preparing for her wedding day, and the person in a camping site collecting dry wood and arranging it in a pile is getting ready to make a bonfire. It's a pretty fair assumption that the wedding gown isn't intended for wear at a bonfire, and the wood isn't being stacked in a pyramid in anticipation of a wedding reception. The same applies with preparations for spiritual and religious events. A month of introspection and repentance is certainly the suitable preparation for the High Holidays, when G-d examines our deeds and renders a judgment regarding the new year. And scouring the house in search of chametz is a sure sign that Passover is approaching -- a holiday when the possession of all leavened substances are banned for eight days.
Shavuot is the holiday that marks the anniversary of the day when G-d gave us the Torah. This monumental day also follows a preparation period--the seven-week Omer counting period. We prepare for Shavuot by counting numbers.
Growing Your Love
Sara and Barry have been married for a number of years now. Their lives have settled into a comfortable routine and an almost predictable pattern.
Like most couples, Sara and Barry have their occasional arguments, but in general, their relationship is an amicable one. They feel a definite level of comfort with one another.
Perhaps too much comfort.
As of late, Sara has been feeling nagging doubts about their relationship. The more she thinks about it, the more she realizes that her marriage is missing its original magic. With the passage of time, it has become stale, with neither she nor Barry putting forth much effort to ignite its flames of passion or infuse it with the original sweet love that attracted them to one another.