What is Shavuot?
Immediately following the Passover seder, for 49 days, or 7 weeks, the Jewish people wait and count the days until the date when they were given the Torah on Mount Sinai, leading to potential spiritual redemption. This date is called Shavuot, aka the Festival of the Giving of Torah. It is also known as the Festival of the First Fruits, since Shavuot commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Holy Temple.
The Torah is the spiritual nourishment of the Jews, just like a mother gives milk to nourish a newborn baby. It (Torah) is necessary to grow and thrive!Help yourself to the Ultimate Shavuot Holiday Guide featuring menus, crafts, tablescapes, gift guides, holiday servingware, kitchen tools and gadgets, entertaining, hosting and cooking tips, tricks and techniques and so much more!
Shavuot customs include:
· Stay up all night learning Torah (the bible)
· Wake up early to pray in the morning
· Eat at least 1 dairy meal
· Study the Book of Ruth
· Hear the reading of the 10 Commandments at synagogue
There is a very strong custom to eat dairy on Shavuot, which has made blintzes and cheesecake the popular foods of the holiday. There are several reasons that are given to explain this custom, but the most popular one is about the laws of kashrut.
With the giving of the Torah, all of a sudden the laws of keeping kosher were in effect, especially separating milk and meat. However, the Torah was given on Shabbat, when it would be impossible to kasher (make kosher) all the pots and pans, or cook kosher food, so they what was available- dairy. Dairy is often ready to eat, and a fast way to fill up (just like grabbing a yogurt out of the fridge when you're hungry, right?)
Milk = Torah
The Torah is the spiritual nourishment of the Jews, just like a mother gives milk to nourish a newborn baby. It (Torah) is necessary to grow and thrive!