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Thought for the Day: Personal and Communal Spirituality

Two related, very cool, questions.  First, suppose the mashiach were to come this Monday.  (That's the soonest I could manage to fit all shitos.  Eliyahu can't come on Friday because we are busy preparing for Shabbos and there is a machlokes if he can come on Sunday because of t'chum issues.  Even so, one can still  worry about who will do the avoda since we are all tamei l'meis; kasha af a hypothetical ma'aseh.)  In that case, would bring a tashlumin for Shavuous?  Second question: Suppose someone became an avel today or tomorrow, but doesn't celebrate Shavuos.  In that case would he still sit shiva on Friday?  (How do you have someone who didn't celebrate Shavuos, but is makpid on shiva?  First of all, I don't have to answer that question because is doesn't have any bearing on the question itself.  Second of all, maybe he will decide to become a ba'al t'shuva right after Shavuos.  Third of all, we are all hopelessly inconsistent in our observance, so what's the question anyway?)  Once we understand the two sides of each question, we'll see how they are related.

On the tashlumin issue: Tashlumin allows us to bring a korban as a make up for a korban that it was not possible to bring.  Perhaps, then, the fact that (assuming the Mashiach does not come before Friday) we don't bring a korban chagiga on Shavuos is no different than if Shavuous were to fall on Shabbos.  Perhaps, however, when we have the Beis HaMikdash (may it be rebuilt soon and in our days) the spiritual level of the world is so elevated that the tashlumin is needed to maintain that level.  If that is the case, then we would not bring a tashlumin for the missed korban.

On the shiva issue:  Shiva brings a level of spiritual comfort to the avel who has just lost the the spiritual radiance of one of his seven close relatives for whom one sit shiva.  (Shiva has nothing to do with psychological comfort, as evidenced by the fact that a ger does not sit shiva, while a Jew who never even met his father would sit shiva.)  Perhaps, then, it is the celebration of Shavuos that brings a spiritual elevation to the person and so someone who didn't celebrate Shavuos would still need to sit the full shiva.  Perhaps, however, the spiritual level of the entire world is elevated just by going through a Shavuos and so even his shiva would be truncated.

Im Yirtzeh HaShem, the mashiach will come before Shavuos this year and the questions can remain hypothetical.


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