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Pre-Shavuot Exercises: Seclusion

“As one man, with one heart.” Although this is usually understood to describe the unified hearts of the Children of Israel when they arrived at Sinai, perhaps we can understand it in a different way to help us prepare for the Revelation of Shavuot:

“It is written, “And Noah walked with the Lord.” (Genesis 6:9) This signifies that he secluded himself with his Creator and avoided human company. Or else it may signify that he was so advanced in the practice of solitude that even when he was among men these did not distract him. A man in the company of others is similar to one who has fallen into the sea – unless he swims well he will be drowned; but if he flees society and secludes himself with his Creator, then he is like one in a boat, saved and in communion with God.” (Sefer Charedim al HaTorah – Noach)

I suggest that we set aside periods of time before Shavuot to practice seclusion and the communion with God in order to achieve a sense of “As one man, with one heart.”

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