This year for Shavuot we asked students and alumni to submit Torah insights and inspiration to share with others for Shavuot. Here it is, titled “Archways in Torah!”
Why are we titling it “Archways in Torah?” First of all, everyone who went to UAlbany is very familiar with its ubiquitous myriad of archways. Archways have lots of symbolism. They are supportive yet open, they are entrances and exits at the same time, they are guideposts that draw and raise our eyes upward and frame our perspective. UAlbany buildings have many archways on every side, for all its length and breadth, from every angle. All of this can be a metaphor for Torah.
In his very first public letter (August 31, 1950) the Rebbe wrote, “There is no man or woman in Israel who cannot, in some way, positively impact his or her fellow Jews.” He would often encourage: “If you know Alef, then teach Alef, even if you haven’t yet learned the letter Bet.” The Rebbe was insistent that each of us have a unique mission and contribution, that each of us is likened to the sun and the moon, we each ought to be both a giver and a recipient. Regardless of levels of knowledge or observance, we each have what to give and take, that which we can learn from and what we have to teach each other. Hence this booklet with a smorgasbord of Torah insights from and by our extended UAlbany Jewish community.
Many thanks to all who’ve contributed to this booklet. We took liberty to do some edits, to add or remove bits and pieces for the sake of clarity and elucidation, but maintained the message and expressions of each writer.
The traditional Chabad wish/greeting for Shavuot is: “May you receive the Torah joyously and inwardly!” Indeed, especially at a time like this.