On May 2, Chazaq hosted an uplifting shiur on Shavuos, with many inspiring speakers. Rabbi Chanan Gordon, well-known speaker and author, began by sharing that on February 18 of this year an historical event took place. We saw a mobile drone descend and land on Mars. NASA opened up the naming of the mission to 28,000 school children, and the winning name was Perseverance. He noted, “Now is the time that we ascend the ladder to the single greatest event in history – the greatest gift the Jewish people ever have received and ever will receive, Matan Torah.” Hashem gave us instructions for living.

He taught that we go to the gym for actualizing our physical potential. Rabbi Gordon stated, “To actualize our spiritual potential it takes perseverance, not to reach Mars, but the goal is to get as close as we can to Hashem. The first point I want to impart is perseverance. To build physical muscle, we need perseverance. The journey of spirituality takes perseverance and the ability to surmount obstacles on the way.”

Rabbi Gordon pointed out that he has represented professional athletes and some were in the NBA. He looked into the coach of Stephen Curry, a famous basketball player, and tried to determine how Stephen Curry mastered the three-point shot. The answer is that every day he was on the court, day in and day out, until it reached a point of muscle memory.

During this time of S’firas HaOmer, we need a spiritual workout. He shared how he trained himself to become a morning person by working on getting up a little earlier each day. S’firas HaOmer is a daily thing. “Think of one little thing that you want to work on from now until the end of the counting this year. “Flex your spiritual muscles.” He taught that Hashem created muscle memory so that in the spiritual world it will become easier for us to work on our spirituality.

On Shavuos, he taught, we celebrate why we are in this world. We understand that this world is an antechamber to the spiritual world. On Shavuos, we are embracing instructions for living. On Shavuos, we are celebrating that Hashem loves each of us unconditionally. The notion that we have to be perfect is the Satan. Every step we take will be rewarded, and you will feel the changes within yourself. He added, “We’re in this world to be the best person we can possibly be – not to be perfect.” He taught that Hashem loves you. He adores you and He is directing your life to the ultimate good.

We can’t understand the tragedy in Meron, but it reminds us that every single day is a gift. Nothing is coming to us. “Make sure that the days of the Omer count.”

There were many other chashuve speakers, including Rabbi Pini Dunner, Rabbi Nachi Klein, and Rabbi Dovid Horowitz.

This shiur can be viewed on www.TorahAnytime.com.

 By Susie Garber