Shavuot begins at sundown this Sunday.
Shavuot is a bit of a puzzler holiday. The Torah has very little to say about it. Most of what we know of ancient practices comes from the Mishnah. It was born as an agricultural holiday and acquired greater meaning in time. The book Seasons of Our Joy says, “Shavuot is the only one of the great festivals for which the Torah gives no historical-political connection, but only mentions the natural and agriculture cycle.”
It’s a magnificent spring holiday and I LOVE spring. So let’s make the most of it.
I invite you to do two things.
First, develop and perpetuate a family tradition. It can be as simple as choosing a dairy food to make every year. Could be blintzes or cheesecake or good old mac and cheese. Or it could reflect that this is a grain harvest festival and you could make a loaf of bread shaped like a tree or a bird or the Torah. Don’t forget some honey for the bread! Or you could focus on the spring and festoon your home with fresh flowers and greens.
Second, learn something NEW about Shavuot. I’ll give you some links. As each annual holiday goes by, strive to gain one new bit of knowledge.
Delight in Spring:
Gather flowers. Take a walk around your yard or neighborhood or a nearby wooded park. You’re bound to see weeds with their own beauty. Or use paper and make yourself a basket full of flowers. You can get some twine or wire and weave a flower crown.
Flower crown with real flowers
Flower crown with paper flowers
Involve everyone in your family as much as they are able.
Finally, there is grief and pain in Israel and a thousand voices speaking about it. All I want to say is this is a good time to say a prayer for peace. You can learn to sing Oseh Shalom here.
Be well and seek peace.