Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Revelation and response

Happy Shavuot! The holiday begins tonight.
And so does ABC Wednesday R Day.

One name of the Shavuot holiday is The Time of the Giving of Our Torah.
Moshe Rabbenu, Moses our Teacher, received the revelation from God on Mt. Sinai.
"Boaz and Ruth" by William Hole, 1607-1624, British
In the synagogue the Book of Ruth is read.
Converts like Ruth the Moabite, who followed Naomi, are appreciated especially on this day.
Ruth was gleaning in the field when she met Boaz. They married and became ancestors of King David.
Shavuot is indeed The Festival of the Harvest.
Last week, from the bus window, going up north to the Galilee, I could see that the grain had just been cut.
Pilgrimage section at the Tower of David Museum
It is also the Festival of the First Fruits.
Specific agricultural offerings were brought to the Temple on Shavuot, which is one of the Slosh Regalim, the three pilgrimage festivals when Jews went up to Jerusalem.

Not part of the ritual, but really important as a custom, is to eat cheese and dairy food on Shavuot.
Then there is Tikkun Lel Shavuot, the all-night study session of Torah.
And wearing white.
And decorating the house with greenery.
Every year on this holiday we renew our acceptance of God's gift and God "re-gives" the Torah!


Catherine said...

I like reading about your traditions, Dina. I'm very pleased to have found you as a blogger from so far.

Tumblewords: said...

As always, wonderfully informative and interesting!

Pietro said...

Really informative article with good pictures, Dina.
I'm not much present because in this period I'm a bit busy.

VP said...

I like this post very much!

Manang Kim said...

Very informative post. I learn a lot from your post. Now the cheeses looks so good too. Happy Wednesday!

ABC Wednesday

J Bar said...

Interesting post.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Roger Owen Green said...

I always enjoy the visit; always something new and thought-provoking.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Anonymous said...

so Happy Shavuot!!
Very interesting post full of info

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Happy Shavout to you!
thank you so much for sharing your tradition with us...precious...
Mine is here
Happy Wednesday!

Raksha said...

Shavuot has always meant a lot to me. It's my sister's yahrzeit, for one thing. It also marks the 49th anniversary of my confirmation. This year, it falls on the same day of the secular calendar as it did in 1961 (May 18th).

I loved looking at your pictures, especially the one of the grain harvest in upper Galilee. It makes it all so real--very important to me since I've never been to Israel.

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

I always thought sukkot was a harvest festival. Perhaps that is because the booths are stocked with fruits of the harvest and we have our harvest in the fall, around the time of sukkot? Is shavuot celebrated widely in the US, do you know?


Dina said...

Shalom friends. Thanks for your kind words at holiday time. :)

Riksha, I'm glad Shavuot is special for you, for one sad reason and one happy one.

Jan, Sukkot is also an agricultural festival, mainly for the fruit harvest.
Yes, I have read that many American Jews don't "do" Shavuot. Here's an article that might explain why:

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I don't think I have ever seen so much cheese before. I hope you got to enjoy some of it.

Thanks for the video. I have enjoyed that very much.

Rob and Mandy said...

Happy Shavuot!
Thank for including the video yesterday, very interesting. Hope you have some energy left in the evening as well. My favorite haunt there was a bar called Big Ben, somewhere near the Yigal Alon Promenade. Great bar, great music.

Jay said...

Another interesting and informative post! I like the pilgrimage section picture.

On behalf of the team, thanks for taking part in ABC Wednesday this week. :)

moneythoughts said...

I never gave it much thought before this post, but you perform a great mitzvah for the Jewish people by explaining the holidays of the religion. Far too many people find Judaism to be a mystery. Opening even a few people's minds to what Judaism is all about, I think, is very important. I think that is why people read your blog and discover so much from it.

Dina said...

Abe, that's the fancy new imported cheese store inside the shuk/market. I stick with our delicious and less expensive local cheese.

Jay, thanks. It must have been really something when thousands came up to Jerusalem for pilgrimage!

Rob and Mandy, funny you should mention it. The Big Ben is where many of the staff and volunteers go at night. I'll have to try it next time, now that you recommend.

Dina said...

Moneythoughts, thank you. I guess I do feel that this blogging is kind of a mission.
And even if I don't do all the mitsvot I mention, at least I can read and write about them.

Mar said...

Such an educative post, loved it!!
Happy Wednesday!

R is for...

Louis la Vache said...

Superb contribution to the "R" Wednesday, Dina!

Ann said...

What a big selection of cheese. Some one brought to school and 8 inch cheese, and I was so happy to take a photo.

spacedlaw said...

I like the idea of a festival where you are expected to eat cheese.

Anna said...

Informative and interesting. And you use the abc-meme to stick to your blog's theme! Not so easy, but I good thing to try to do.
In my case, I try to include something about jewellery-making, because that is what my blog is supposed to be about. But you have to allow some other things too. I write often about animals and plants for those who don't care about jewellery. Just as the cheeses in your post here have their purpose too.
Great post!
Best wishes,

Anna's Rudabagas