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Shavuot and Moshiach

Does the holiday of Shavuot have a special connection to redemption?

The very fact that Shavuot is a holiday during which we celebrate the giving of the Torah reveals its relationship to the time of Moshiach.  The main novelty of the era of Moshiach is the “new Torah” that will be revealed by Moshiach.

Shavuot is also distinguished as the holiday on which an offering of two leavened loaves of bread was brought.  Rabbi Yeshaya Horowitz, author of Shnei Luchot Habrit, comments:  “On this day, an offering of both leavened and unleavened bread was brought.  The leavened bread corresponds to the body and the unleavened bread to the soul.  The fact that both were offered on the same altar shows that the soul and body will delight together in the World to Come and bask in the glow of the Shechina, as we find with Moses and Elijah.”

The leavened bread, which is puffed up, symbolizes the physical body, while the flat matza symbolizes the soul.  Offering them together on one altar symbolizes the harmony between body and soul that will prevail in the era of Moshiach, when the body will be so refined that it will be a vessel for G-dliness and will sustain the soul.  Our physical state will be like that of Moses, who survived forty days on Mount Sinai on spirituality alone, and like Elijah, whose body ascended to heaven and still exists without any physical nourishment.

On Rabbi Horowitz’s commentary, the Lubavitcher Rebbe asks:  Wasn’t the bread offering of Shavuot eaten by the Kohanim and not burned on the altar?  Why does he write that the bread was offered on the altar?

The Rebbe answers:  Together with the bread offering, two lambs were brought, and parts of these lambs were offered on the altar.  Since the two lambs were brought as one entity with the bread offering, it is as if the bread was also consumed on the altar.

(Zohar, vol. 2, p. 183b.  Shnei Luchot Habrit, Mesechet Shavuot, “Chayav Adam.”  Letters of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, vol. 1, p. 308)

 

 


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