The Grand Finale

The Omer is counted for the final time on the 49th night. The following evening, the festival of Shavuot begins at sundown.  Shavuot is the anniversary of the Revelation on Mount Sinai, when God communicated the Torah to the entire Jewish people and in so doing, revealed to them their national mission and purpose.  In our prayers Shavuot is referred to as Zman Matan Torateinu, the Time of Giving of ...

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The Revelation at Mount Sinai

The revelation and giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai was an overwhelming experience for the Jewish people. The Torah describes in great detail how every man, woman and child experienced the word of God with all of their senses.  The uniqueness of this account cannot be emphasized enough.  God did not whisper to a lone individual on a mountain top, rooftop, on the road or in a cave. It ...

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Just Ask asktherabbi.org

Unity – the Gateway to Judaism

Question: Why was the Torah given to us on Shavuot and not right after leaving Egypt or some other day of the year? Thank you. AskTheRabbi.org answered: Good question. There was a key ingredient that was still missing after the Exodus to merit being given the Torah — complete “unity” amongst the Jewish People. Let me explain. The people who experienced the Exodus with all its miracles were nevertheless still negatively influenced by having ...

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Mowing The Lawn

Well, since it is summer, I feel obligated to mow the lawn today so that the kids can actually play there without stumbling over abandoned vehicles. The grass was unbelievable; it was so high it was just ridiculous. So I mowed the lawn, quite successfully I think, and I started thinking about the fact that we can cut the grass. And of course, I just recently trimmed my beard  which ...

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Shavuot – Cheesecake, Converts and Fruits

Milk and Honey It is customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot. Some explain this as one component in re-enacting Sinai. Having just received the laws about kosher food, the Jewish people had no choice but to limit themselves to easily prepared dairy or plant based foods, as opposed to meat that would require kosher slaughter, salting and other preparations before it could be eaten.  Some have the custom to eat ...

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