Monday, June 01, 2009

820. Back from Sinai, part 2

(Continued from here).

I attribute the difference this Shavuot to two reasons. For the first time ever, I counted the entire omer (well, I missed one day, but tried to take the rest even more seriously to make up some extra kavannah), and thanks to this little but intense book, considered the meaning and intention of each number. Like a path of footsteps across the desert, the weeks after Pesah took on shape and distance, and became tangible markers of time. The second reason: I participated in a Twitter marathon of Torah right before the holiday, posting a bunch of mini-commentaries throughout the day. (Example: "Ex 20:13, do not steal: Not just objects, but also honor, dignity, freedom, joy. We rightly own those things, too.") So I was able to warm up before the real thing. Reading the whole, live stream of #Torah as it unfolded was like listening to the din in a beit midrash—a little overwhelming, not always intelligible, but with bits of wisdom that shone through like stars in a cloudy sky.

I couldn't help but remember my strange dream of a few months ago, now proven completely baseless. Torah study via Twitter may not be deep, but it's certainly wide—our scrappy virtual yeshiva spanned the country and few time zones. All Jews stood together at Sinai and I think we rehearsed, via Twitter, the spatial equivalent of that concept. Any tool for creating community and joining like-minded souls through ideas and language can't be all bad.

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