Tuesday, May 18, 2010

HAPPY SHAVUOT- חג שבועות שמח!

Shavuot holiday is the day the Israelites got the Torah (the Old Testament).  As you may recall, they left Egypt in a hurry, and therefore it took some weeks until they were ready to attend to the business of receiving the word of God. How many weeks? Seven, the Hebrew word for which, sheva, shares a root with the word Shavuot, which means weeks. To mark the occasion of having received the divine laws, delicious dairy products are served. Cheesecakes are big, so are blintzes. The rational explanation for eating diary is that the "Torah" was given on the Sabbath, and no animals could be slaughtered to celebrate the happy occasion.

Together with Passover and Sukkot, the Shavuot holiday is also one of the Three Pilgrimages (or shalosh regalim, if you want to rock the Hebrew), annual occasions for the ancient Israelites to bring their harvest and livestock over to the Temple in Jerusalem for festivities and ritualistic slaughter. And while the pilgrimage part was abandoned—you know, exile and all—Jews still mark these three major holidays with special recitations of the joyous Hallel prayer.

First up, be happy. Why? It says so in Deuteronomy: “And you shall rejoice in your festival … and you shall only be happy.” 



Linda Crawford said...

Interesting Linda. I learned something new today. Keep educating us in areas of interest.

Sally Reyes

Anonymous said...

Great info. You always bring something new. Thanks