The ice cream of the crop

  • Rabbi Deren
I don’t think I’m the only one going into Shavuos with a gulp in my throat, knowing that if, G-d forbid, Moshiach doesn’t come in the next 48 hours, we’ll be spending our first Shavuos at home.
by Rabbi Asher Deren, Chabad of the West Coast | May 28, 2020

Yes, it’s that endless buffet of the milchik brocha, the chaversheft of sitting and learning Torah through the night with friends, and the overflow of children parading through the shul, that we’ll all miss.

But there’s no question that what I’m going to miss most is that awesome point in the Torah reading, when the baal koreh’s voice rises to a crescendo, as the congregation of every man, woman, child, and even babies, rises in awe to the opening words of the ten commandments: “Anochi Hashem elokecha!” “I am the Lord your G-d!”

In that one shiver of a split second, you realise, in some small (or big) way, that the moment when our souls all stood at Sinai 3 332 years ago receiving the Torah from Hashem is actually happening again.

And now? As we stand alone or with just family around the dining room table, and bellow out those words (yes, you really should do that by the way), will we still be receiving the Torah from Hashem?

Yes, of course we will.

But it’s not only that. Because this year, you could receive money from the Torah as well! Real hard cash that shows up in your bank account.

If you or someone you know has fallen on desperate times and needs some help to have that delicious cheesecake and those awesome blintzes, South Africa’s unprecedented is providing financial relief through the maos chittim (wheat) fund specifically to assist in your yom tov celebration.

And conversely, if you haven’t acquired letters yet in the Miracle Torah, today is the day for you to do so, so that your family have their letters in the Torah in time for Shavuos.

Go to, and dedicate letters in this beautiful Torah being written for the health and protection of the South African community, knowing that whatever sum you choose to contribute will go to help families in need.

No, we can’t get together in shul this year to hear the ten commandments and celebrate with ten flavours of ice cream.

But by dedicating letters in the Torah, we help ensure that across South Africa, every Jewish man, woman, and child is feeling the protection of Hashem as we receive the Torah (and at least a few flavours of ice cream) in our homes this Shavuot.


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