Shavuot and summer are coming!

As we count the Omer every night, we get closer and closer to the 7 weeks from Pesach to Shavuot–and Shavuot is when we get the Torah! Every Jewish soul was present at Mt Sinai for the giving of the Torah, and it is a celebration! This is one of the major Jewish festivals. In 2011, it starts the night of June 7 and continues through June 8 and 9 (outside Israel).

But with the spiritual preparation comes the physical: menu planning, cleaning the house, new clothes, etc. What is unique for Shavuot? That depends on tradition.

We usually do dairy meals, but because the enjoyment of a yom tov needs meat–for my husband and he assures me, men around the world, we do something meaty for him and anyone else who wants (after washing out the mouth and changing tableware.) Eating meat on yom tov is a Sephardic position, but there are plenty of others who do it, or just skip the dairy altogether! The dairy meals tradition came because Jews didn’t know how to slaughter animals in a kosher way yet, or because we were “reborn” into a Torah way of life so eat “baby food,” or because we were promised a land flowing with milk and honey…There are a lot of potential reasons given. I actually greatly prefer dairy meals, so it’s my favorite holiday for meals!

We also make a point of decorating with greenery and plants. Midrash tells us that Mt. Sinai flowered and bloomed in anticipation of receiving the Torah, and so we get to have a beautiful house with flowers and green plants!

The night of Shavuot, we stay up all night learning Torah.

Now; how to prep for this holiday? Stay tuned for more specifics. This is just to get you and me thinking about what is to come.

And summer is coming, too. Time (or in some cases, past time!) to think about summer camps, classes, activities, vacations, guests, lessons, etc. I’m drawing up my list of goals and will share it with you soon.

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