Snap, Crackle and Pop. No need to mention Rice Krispies, just mention these three charming little characters and we'll all know the cereal box on which they belong.

But Snap Crackle and Pop have a lot more to them than meets the eye.

Snap Crackle and Pop are used to describe the fourth, fifth and sixth 'derivatives of position' in mathematics. Derivatives of position relate to the rate of change of a moving object - how fast an object is moving. The derivative is what causes the change to occur.

How so? The first 'derivative of position' would be the the object's velocity (speed) which is causing its position to change. The second is its 'acceleration', which in turn is causing the velocity to change, which in turn changes the position. The third is called 'jerk', the sudden lurch which starts the acceleration which starts the velocity which changes the position.

Snap Crackle and Pop, situated high up in the 'derivative chain' as the fourth fifth and sixth derivatives of position, are terms used to describe what really gets things moving; what causes it all.

In the Jewish blueprint of the universe, explained in the 'Kabbalah' section of the Torah, there are also three 'derivatives of position' - three lofty spiritual powers which are the beginning of the process of creation of the world as we know it.

I'll paraphrase them as: A) High Energy B) Real energy C) A combination of High + Real fused together as one.

It is this last one which is by far the most meaningful, enjoyable, fulfilling and euphoric way to live life. It is the derivative of all derivatives, the way of life G‑d had in mind for us when creating the universe.

For in life there are also 'derivatives'. They're things we derive pleasure and meaning from, and thus serve as our lives' goals and driving forces.

Generally, they fall into two categories: 'Highs' and 'Reals'.

Highs are moments when we're - as it sounds - on a high. Who doesn't like a high? Real moments on the other hand, come with real world living when we're real, grounded, settled and resolute. Real moments are usually not moments at all but come with years of development and stark real world experience.

Our world is hyper focused on Highs. The flashiest party, the wildest concert, the day of unexpected, tremendous success. But flashy, instant happiness fades quickly, because it isn't real. That's where Reals come in. 

That isn't to say that it is better to become a 'real-world' cynic who hasn't had fun in decades. It isn't a zero sum game. The trick is to successfully find a way to make the Highs real, lasting and concrete. G‑d didn't create Reals to replace the Highs, just to make them more real. The Reals are a means through which the Highs can last forever and thus be, well, real.

The highest moment in Jewish history was experienced at the Exodus of Egypt, when G‑d took millions of downtrodden Jewish slaves, treated them like royalty and gave them the Torah at Mt. Sinai (the anniversary of which we celebrate on Shavuot this Sunday and Monday). It never got higher than that.

What have we been doing since that phenomenal High? Crashing? Of course not. Rather, we've been making all that real, and earning the right to the beautiful way of life we received in the Torah at Mt. Sinai. As slaves in Egypt we got a heavy dose of 'Real'. At Mt. Sinai soon afterwards we got a heavy dose of 'High'. The Jewish experience has continued on a millennia long journey to make that high real.

Every High in life can last forever, as long as we're wise enough to invest the effort into making it real. Real friendships. Real relationships. Real commitment to what's right and just. And real commitment to bringing the treasure trove and warm light of Judaism into our lives. 

This Shavuot, let's remind ourselves that the key to living in such a way remains steadfastly in our hands.

Rabbi Avrohom