As you are aware by now, last week we celebrated Shavuot and had a chance to do some great learning. One of my favorite discussions, and one I thought our readers would appreciate, came from a session early in the night with my Rebbetzin, T. The class was on Megilat Ruth.
T introduced the class by commenting on the juxtaposition of what we read on the different days of Shavuot. The first day we read about the receiving of the Torah. It is a big, loud and flashy moment, filled with thunder and lightening. The key players in this are God and Moses, and as such it is a true testament to manly strength. Meanwhile, on the second day we read the story of Ruth (and Naomi) which contains a uniquely close style of relationship, most common amongst women. One of the key things this can teach us to value personal relationships.
So why do we read these two, vastly different, stories so close together? Perhaps, it is to remind ourselves of the necessity of both types of interactions. That while the big stuff with bells and whistles is great, so too are the quiet moments at home with just one close friend or relative. We know that there are commandments about how to behave in relation to Hashem, as well as how to behave in relation to people. Perhaps, we read these two stories so that we do not forget that both are important. We have to focus on both the holy and mundane, on the macro and micro interactions in our lives.
While we have to maintain relationships with both Hashem and with the people in our lives, we must remember to balance them. That one without the other, is somehow less meaningful.