Kenneth Cohen

Greatest Day

The holiday of Shavuot celebrates the greatest day in Jewish history. Not only was it the day when we became a nation, but it was the day when every Jew heard G-d speak.

The people were all united as איש אחד בלב אחד, one man-one heart. They were elevated to the level of Adam before the sin. They were all able to perceive Hashem in an open and clear fashion.

The mountain shook and the Shofar was sounded as the first two of the Ten Commandments were uttered by G-d Himself. This is the main reason that makes Judaism stand apart from all of the religions of the world.

If we were to examine the origin as to how other religions began, it never came with such a Revelation witnessed by all. This is a main reason why those studying comparative religions, as was discussed in the Kuzari, Judaism always stands out as being the one true religion.

Everything began on Mount Sinai as both the Written Law and Oral Law were given together. As believing Jews, we realize that the license given to the Rabbis in interpreting the Torah, also comes from Sinai.

Having such beliefs, allows us to observe the entire Torah, including the laws that may not make sense. If they come directly from G-d, how could we possibly not observe them?
We are to see Shavuot as a holiday of renewing our commitment to Judaism, and celebrating the greatest day in Jewish history.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at