is one of my favorite Jewish holidays. It didn’t start out that way. As a child
growing up, I had little knowledge of Shavuot.
is the holiday that comes 7 weeks after the 2nd day of Passover. The
word “Shavuot” means week and the holiday celebrates the giving of Torah at Mount Sinai. Notice that it is not about receiving the Torah, because we are
still in a constant state of receiving it. However, it was the first time we
were given the Torah. In ancient days it also celebrated the first fruits
brought to the Temple-
one of the three Pilgrimage Festivals. For our ancestors, it was time to pay
one’s taxes and travel to Jerusalem
to have a tailgate party with the other neighboring farmers. I guess if you
like tailgate parties, you would have loved this holiday!
since (hopefully) our taxes are paid and we don’t have to leave for Jerusalem until Rabbi Bob’s Israel trip next year, how can we
celebrate this holiday in a meaningful way today?
how! If you enjoy a lively service, you can join us on Tuesday, June 7th
at 7:00 PM. We’ll bring flowers to the bimah and enjoy our prior year’s B’nai
Mitzvah kids as they read their maftir portions. After the service, we’ll enjoy
a dairy dessert of blintzes and cheesecake along with other wonderful delights.
Finally, my favorite part, we get to study! Traditional Jews stay up all night
to study and, in rabbinical school, I participated in an all-night study
session. Thankfully, we don’t do that at our congregation. Sleep is very
important. (I have learned a lot about sleep, or lack thereof, this
year!!!) But, to study for a little
while is a treat and I promise not to disappoint. This year, I will be teaching
about responsibility and how Shavuot comes to teach us this very important
quality in every aspect of our lives.
now a side note: I am testing our new
website and I want to see how many people read this article to the finish. If
you are reading this, I would love to offer you a prize for reading to the end. Email me so I can put you on the list to receive your prize. It’s
another way of receiving Torah! Thanks for your participation! I hope to hear
from you and see you soon. May you be blessed with a wonderful Shavuot.