Tuesday, June 7, 2011
More Holiday Fun!
I know what you're thinking--man, there are a lot of holidays lately! So true. This is quite the busy time of year on the Jewish calendar.
Tonight, I'm going to be disappearing for two days to celebrate the holiday of Shavuos.
What is Shavuos, you may ask?
As a Jewish holiday, Shavuos sometimes gets the shaft, since it's in the summer and beyond the reaches of Hebrew school.
Shavuot is the anniversary of receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. Not to be confused with Simchas Torah, which is about celebrating the Torah. I happen to get them confused fairly often--it can get embarrassing.
A few fun tidbits about Shavuos:
1. As the story goes, back at Mount Sinai, the night before the Torah was given, the people fell asleep. Not exactly a high mark of enthusiasm. So to kind of "make up" for that, it's a custom to stay up all night learning Torah on Shavuos. I've never actually made it all night--I think a veeeery sleepy 4 am Torah class was my peak--but I do like to spend a good few hours studying! And S plans to go all night, so we'll see if he lasts:)
2. Cheesecake. It's a custom to have dairy on Shavuos, and luckily cheesecake has become the embodiment of this custom. In my kitchen, I have a 16-piece cheesecake sampler where each piece is a different flavor. This giant cheesecake is also for a meal of only 3 people--oops!
3. Ruth. On Shavuos, we read the Book of Ruth. Easily one of my favorite Biblical stories. I took a six week class on it years ago where we really delved into each sentence, and it gave me a lifelong appreciation for the Book of Ruth.
3. Flowers. Because Mount Sinai blossomed with flowers the day the Torah was given, it's also a custom on Shavuos to have flowers in your home and in the synagogue. (flowers + cheesecake -- can you see why I love this one?)
So those are some highlights of this holiday:) The next two days should involve lots of social time, reconnecting with G-d, staying up late chatting with friends, eating through my cheesecake sampler, and remembering why I chose to live a life revolving around Torah all those years ago.
What is YOUR favorite holiday?