Prior to Shavuos in previous years, I published articles on the topics of producing and eating dairy bread, how to make kosher cheese, whether Shavuos is preceded by Parshas Bamidbar or Parshas Naso, and about the laws of making pareve foods. All of these articles can be accessed on RabbiKaganoff.com
This year, I decided to distribute an article by my close friend, Rabbi Avraham Rosenthal, on the Ashkenazic custom of reciting Akdamus on Shavuos.
During the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, we will not be fulfilling any mitzvot that are specific to this holiday – not mitzvot from the Torah and not even mitzvot derabbanan. (In the time of the Beit Hamikdash, there was a special korban brought, called shtei halechem.)
The sages of the Mishnah posed the following question: Which is greater, study or practice? “Rabbi Tarphon answered, saying, 'Practice is greater'; Rabbi Akiva answered, saying: 'Study is greater..' Rabbi Eliyahu Brin provides insight.
Torah calls for preparation. The Patriarchs preceded the giving of the Torah, and, as the foundation of the Jewish people, fulfilled the entire Torah even before it was given. This measure was taken as a kind of preparation for receiving the Torah.
It is impossible to whole-heartedly take upon oneself the yoke of Torah if one is not open-minded. Similarly, it is impossible to embrace the Torah if one possesses strong desires and is unable to make his will subservient to that of the Almighty.