Shavuot, in addition to being a harvest festival, commemorates the revelation at Sinai and the giving of the Torah.

Standing before Sinai, what did we know?

Our forebears lived on promise and wrestled for blessing,

welcomed unknown angels and strange camels;

we bore the imprint of half-remembered stories handed down

of brother against brother and sisters in contention

and God elusive and faithful.

And now came one, both foreign and kin,

telling us the memory of God returned, taking note

of our captivity, emerged in a still, fiery voice:

I Am – Was – Will Be – Who I Am –

a name we can scarcely breathe opening possibilities.

Standing before Sinai, what did we know

of gods who shatter and crumble before

improbable wonders and terrors shook the land?

In the passage of night the dark threshold of hope

broke the silence of generations in exile.

We awoke and remembered our name;

following fire and clouds we fled through the sea,

saw horse and chariot swallowed and even then

we sought something more than ourselves.

This is the sound of you, breaking open anew

Is-Was-Will-Be.  Nothing less has

drawn us here between fire and water,

standing before Sinai.  What do we know?

by Kate Farrell