The Talmud reports that the generation of Yehuda Bar Illai represented Torah study at its best. What was so striking about that generation? The Talmud says that in that period, six people would study together under a single blanket. On one level, the Talmud means that despite having only one blanket due to harsh poverty, the people were still devoted to Torah study.
Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz, however, offers another explanation: The only way six people could have sat together under one blanket was if they were all looking out for each other, making sure that all were “covered.” The true greatness of Yehuda Bar Illai’s generation could be found in the way they loved and respected one another.
A similar idea is expressed in the Torah itself, regarding the revelation at Har Sinai. The Torah describes how the Jewish People were so unified at the time of the revelation that it was as if “one person” stood at Har Sinai. It was precisely because of this unity that they were worthy of receiving Hashem’s law.
This past week has been an extremely busy week as we finalized ads for the Amudim dinner and prepared for the Amudim dinner and other school year-end activities and graduations. I was most gratified to see the outpouring of support from our parent body and friends joining together yesterday at the State House to show our support and to lobby for the “Raise the Cap” event. Please be aware that although the SGO cap may not be raised this year, the legislators and our partner private and faith-based schools all take note of our attendance and the letters that we send them. We continue to be mispallel for the success of the SGO!
As our Amudim ad deadline was this week, I thank all of you for your support, especially for honorees you may not personally know. Please understand that each of these honorees has had a profound impact on the school and your support is felt and appreciated. If you have never joined us for the Amudim dinner, know that it is a most pleasurable evening with delicious food, and will take place in the new social hall at the Jewish Alliance of Rhode Island on Sunday, June 11 at 4:30 p.m. Please call the school to place your reservations.
Please join us this Sunday as NEAT Inc. dedicates a Sefer Torah in memory of our school’s patriarch and matriarch, Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Miriam Pearlman. This is truly a special day in Providence as we pay tribute to the Pearlmans, who selflessly dedicated themselves to the school. The growth of Torah in Providence would not be the same without the indelible impression that Mr. and Mrs. Pearlman left on our school.
Matan Torah is a time for introspection, a time of unity to work together toward the school’s continued growth.
Good Shabbos and happy Shavuos,
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman