Turning Milk into Cheese

May 22, 2015 by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
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Apparently one of the reasons we eat milk products on Shavuot is that the Torah (which we received on Shavuot) is compared to milk and honey. So what is the big fuss with the cheesecake? Wouldn’t a glass of milk be enough or is there something specific about the cheese?


Rabbi Michoel Gourarie

Rabbi Michoel Gourarie

The Talmud tells us that when G-d designated a particular day for the Mt. Sinai experience, Moses, on his own accord, postponed the event so that the Jewish people could prepare for an extra day. Evidently G-d thought it was a good idea and only gave the Torah on the day that Moses had chosen. This is a perplexing story. Why would Moses postpone such an amazing event? On the other hand, if G-d thought it was appropriate why He didn’t give this instruction from the beginning.

The answer highlights the very essence of the Mt Sinai experience. G-d didn’t want us to receive the Torah as passive recipients. He wanted our active involvement. He wanted us to make the Torah ours and to turn it into something that we own. We achieve this by combining two different concepts. Firstly we guard and protect the purity and authenticity of the Torah that G-d has given us by fiercely adhering to all of its principles, values and guidelines.  But at the same time we are expected to study in depth, question, interpret, analyse and to find creative and innovative ways of explaining ideas without compromising its authenticity. G-d purposely didn’t spell out all of the laws of the Oral Torah because He wanted us to figure them out by becoming active partners in the process.


One Response to “Turning Milk into Cheese”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Dear Rabbi Michoel…. didn’t God intend for Torah be given to all His creation? No wonder the world is in such a mess. I’m so glad I’m Jewish. Sorry still have a terrible warped sense of humor but I’m hoping it improves.. May G-d bless you.

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