Here's an explanation for what is so special about the Shavuot festival before us: it's an opportunity to unite and celebrate for a purely positive reason.   When it comes to terror or war, we excel in solidarity. Even a health crisis like the corona pandemic struck all of us together. It is of course important and inspiring to unite against a murderous attack of Hamas, but our standing together at Mount Sinai ushered in a revolution. It raised us to a new level of unity.

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For the first time, we did not unite because of an external threat, but came together to rejoice in our identity. We did not crowd together because of the Nazis, anti-Semtisim, or any other hostile force. Rather, we chose to be together in order to receive the Torah and the Ten Commandments. From honoring parents and the Sabbath to "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not murder," this was not merely a reaction to oppression by others and their negative values, but a positive embrace of a new code for living and a new identity as a people. We did not unite because of a common fear, but from a common desire to become a new and different sort of nation. The conflict in which we are currently engaged is an all too familiar unifying  experience. But on the festival of Shavuot we can reach a higher level: unity around our receiving of the Torah, the most important chapter in the story we all share.

 Chag Sameach!