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I’m in the Shavuot mode!
The holiday that starts Sunday evening and goes through Tuesday.
It commemorates the most important event in the history of the world.
The giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai!
It taught the world that G-d cares about how we live our lives.
And that there are absolute rights and wrongs.
… I recently saw an article in the World Street Journal that I found fascinating.
It’s about what makes plants grow.
In 1885, scientists discovered a plant growth hormone. And called it auxin.
(You can do just fine in life if you don’t remember that name!)
They just found out that it’s a lot more complicated than they thought.
Because plants also have a protein that can cause problems.
It silences the genes that promote plant growth.
Along comes auxin and links up with another protein.
Together they gang up on the growth repressing protein.
They attract enzymes that “munch” on the” growth silencer.”
And the plant grows!
One more “little thing” that should get us to say “wow”!
… I found this fascinating for another reason.
What happens inside the plant?
Is exactly what happens inside us!
We have spiritual genes.
In Jewish tradition, one is called the “good inclination.” The Yetzer Hatov.
That’s the part of our nature that motivates us to do good.
And to try to become even better.
It motivates us to grow.
But we have another gene. Called the “evil inclination.” The Yetzer Harah.
That gene can repress our growth.
Makes things we shouldn’t do look very attractive.
And when we feel inspired to grow? To improve?
(Or to attend Rabbi Katz’s Food and Spirituality Workshop tonight!)
It says to us, “Knock it off. Who you kidding!”
… At Mount Sinai G-d gave us the Torah.
And the Torah doesn’t only tell us how G-d wants us to live.
It gives us the tools to overcome that “growth repressing gene.”
The tools to become better human beings. And better Jews!
And this is the time of the year to commit ourselves to Jewish growth!
All the best,