Dear Readers,

Tell me honestly, has this ever happened to you?

  • You were at an upscale event and looked down at your feet only to notice that you were wearing two different shoes!
  • You painstakingly chose your outfit, carefully pairing it with matching accessories, only to later realize that you were wearing gorgeous earrings, but they were mismatched!

Mortifying, right?

Nope, not anymore!

In case, you haven’t heard, the very latest trend in fashion is to wear mismatched shoes and different earrings. What may have previously been thought of a terrible fashion faux pas (or, as ridiculously absent-minded!) is now actually a very fashion-forward statement.

Isn’t it amazing how trends change? Isn’t it even more amazing how we change along with them, and how something once thought of as unacceptable can become the new norm?

While accessories are entirely benign, there are many areas where modern fads and trends have become far more morally challenging. And yet, aren’t too many of us affected by what has become pervasive around us, even if intuitively we know it is wrong?

This week, we celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. More than 3,300 years ago, G‑d gifted us with His Torah, a book of wisdom, guidance and meaning, as well as lots of laws and rules about what we can and cannot do. The Torah’s laws teach us that there is an objective truth, and that morality is not something to be altered based on whim or the winds of social change. We strive to follow the Torah’s commandments because we trust that our Creator knows and understands what is good for us, and our world, even better than we do.

As the Rebbe wrote: The Ten Commandments begin with the fundamental precepts of man’s relation to G‑d, and conclude with precepts governing man’s relation to man. This emphasizes that even the most elementary ethical and moral precepts have a validity and effectiveness only if they derive from the authority of “I am G‑d your G‑d” and “Thou shalt have no other gods.”

The history of mankind has continuously demonstrated that human life can make no real progress where the imperatives of morality and ethics are not based on the authority of the Supreme Being, but are human inventions that can be changed and modified to suit the proclivities of the age. The state of the generation of the present day is the best proof of that.

Let’s celebrate this Shavuot by reaccepting and reaffirming our devotion to G‑d and His Torah.

(And, as an added benefit, you can do so, in any pair—or mispairing—of shoes and earrings!)

Wishing you a Chag Sameach!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW