by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
This coming Wednesday and Thursday is Shavuos, the festival when we remember and celebrate the giving of the Torah on Mt Sinai 3322 years ago. The Mt Sinai experience was the defining moment in our history, transforming us into G-d's nation.
The revelation at Mt Sinai was a dramatic one with smoke, thunder and lightning, and G-d spoke in a loud and booming voice. He began with the first words of the Ten Commandments - I am G-d, your G-d who took you out of Egypt.
In Hebrew, when talking in the second person (you or yours) there is singular form and a plural form. The phrase "your G-d" is said one way if talking to an individual and a different way if talking to a group. Yet at Mt Sinai when G-d was communicating with three million men, women and children He used the singular form, as if He was talking only to one person.
There is an important lesson in this grammatical observation. Often we underestimate the value of the small things that we do or say. We question if the small mitzvah that we perform will make a global difference or if one smile at a stranger will change the world. We wonder if a short mumbled prayer is even heard. We imagine that only those with great leadership qualities or huge intellectual capability and talent can actually make a difference. We might refrain from getting involved, believing that it doesn't matter anyway.
But this is so wrong. G-d's message is clear. I am talking only to you. Every single individual is needed and critical to the overall bigger picture. Yes, you are part of a nation, but you are unique. Please don't underestimate the value of your small contribution. Every small Mitzvah, smile, act of kindness or a small prayer has infinite power and has the ability to change the environment and produce a powerful Divine energy of blessing.
The creator of the universe has personally invited you to make a difference - let's not turn down the offer.