What does summer mean to you? If you are a student, it probably means a break from school. If you are a parent, it may mean a more relaxed routine.
For most of us, summer brings to mind some form of vacation. Even those of us with grueling jobs will try to find some time to visit new places, relax upstate, or just enjoy our own backyards. The pace of our days is somewhat slower, and the weather allows us to enjoy the natural beauty of the great outdoors – yes, even in Brooklyn.
Shavuos, when we accept the Torah anew, heralds the summer season. It’s a timely reminder that although we may be due for some well-deserved R&R – and everyone does need a break every now and then – our focus remains the same. Because for frum Jews, no matter our surroundings, the Torah remains the center of all we do. Even during the lazy days of summer.
In his column this month, Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz writes, “At Har Sinai we received not only the Torah, but the aspect of ‘arvus,’ taking responsibility for our fellow Jews.” We carry that message along with us during the long, balmy summer Shabbosos, when we read Pirkei Avos – an entire masechta dedicated to the concept of interpersonal relationships.
Summer may be a good opportunity to lower the pace of our days just a bit. But it’s also a time to remember what counts.
May your summer be relaxing and enjoyable – and full of growth.