2. Ruth was a convert to Judaism, willingly entering a covenant withG-dthrough the acceptance of HisTorah. On Shavuot, the Jewish people en masse entered this covenant with G-d by willingly accepting His Torah. The connection between Shavuot and conversion is not just homiletic; the conversion steps taken by Ruth, as well as by prospective converts until this very day, are akin, and derived from, the steps the Jewish people took at Sinai in the process of receiving the Torah.
The Story of Jane on Shavuot
……. “When my Father was a young child, he lived in Cabbagetown in Toronto. His family (Irish Catholic) was extremely poor, and always hungry. Kids living in the area during the 20’s, grew up rapidly. Dad was the eldest, and at 6 years old, he took it upon himself to try and feed the family, along with gathering wood, to help keep them warm.
We are told that when the L-rd desired to give the Torah to the Jewish people, instead of choosing some lofty and majestic mountain, He selected Sinai, a small, humble little mount barely more than a hill. His purpose in this symbolic act was to show that man must turn his back on overbearing pride, must reject a false ego.
It is related in the name of the Gerer Rebbe: G-d’s intentions are indeed laudable. Yet, if He intended to show that man must not be a mountain and must turn down false pride, why was the Torah not given in a valley?
The answer is clear, the answer is bold: It is not enough to reject overbearing pride. Too much humbleness is, itself wrong. Man should, man must possess some pride in his being – otherwise he is not a man.
A few months ago, Secretary of State Colin Powell gave a posthumous award for “constructive dissent” to Hiram (or Harry) Bingham, IV. For over fifty years, the State Department resisted any attempt to honor Bingham. For them he was an insubordinate member of the US diplomatic service, a dangerous maverick who was eventually demoted. Now, after his death, he has been officially recognized as a hero.