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    The date of Shavu’ot

    The calendar tells us that Shavu’ot falls on 6 (outside Israel, 6 and 7) Sivan.

    The date is not specified in the Torah, nor are there any references that say that this was the date of the Revelation at Mount Sinai. What a strange thing when we think of how indispensable the Torah is to every aspect of being Jewish.

    Abravanel, as Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan tell us in one of his essays, explains that the duty of remembering the giving of the Torah is a daily obligation, and it would mislead some people if the Torah identified the date of the Revelation because they might limit the duty of honouring the event to this one day (or two in the Diaspora).

    Rabbi Kaplan also cites Alshich who says that the Revelation was sublime, but the people of Israel spoilt it by their sin with the Golden Calf. The date of the Revelation is not given so that we will not be reminded of the sin.

    One might add that if we recalled the sin we might be tempted to say that keeping the Torah is too difficult for ordinary mortals: if the generation of Moses could not keep the Torah, how much more is there a problem for later generations?

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