On Sunday night, May 29, Let’s Get Real With Coach Menachem featured Rabbi Sender Yossi Kaszirer, who has been involved in working with struggling teens for over two decades. Rabbi Kaszirer noted that we recite a special t’filah on Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan for our children that they should go in the proper path. Hashem gave Shavuos to each of us – men, women, and children. Everyone needs to connect to Torah. Torah is for us all. “Every year, we receive the Torah, and every single person has to be m’kabeil the Torah.” He emphasized that every Jew has that special connection, and we have to find the way to help everyone to connect to Torah.

Rabbi Kaszirer taught that the Yom Tov of Shavuos is not just learning Torah, but the Gemara teaches us that it’s a special time with nice meals and time to spend with family. The idea is, yes, we should learn Torah, but we also have to live a life of Torah and to apply the lessons of the Torah to our lives. “The life of a ben Torah means all decisions we make through the prism or lens of Torah.”

He noted that in the blessings we recite in the morning on learning Torah, we thank Hashem for Torah, and we ask Him to please make Torah sweet for us. Part of receiving the Torah is that we should feel the sweetness of Torah.

Someone asked how we can feel different after Shavuos like now we just received the Torah. Rabbi Kaszirer cited a teaching of the Ramban that many times we feel emotion, and the trick is to put it into practice. Inspiration comes and goes, but we need to put that inspiration into something. He suggested a possible kabalah to make that we will now say the Torah blessings from a siddur. Find some way to solidify inspiration in learning or connecting to learning. We can help someone else with learning.

He said that it’s important to be in shul on Shavuos night, even if a teen is not going to learn, because there is an atmosphere of learning. There is a s’gulah in staying in shul on Shavuos night.

By Susie Garber