Poor little Shavuot. Such an important festival that gets totally overlooked. Not surprising, really, after all the hassle of preparing for & making Pesach, and without any of the sombre grandeur of the high holidays, Shavuot – one of our awesomest chagim – doesn’t get much of a look in. Happily, it’s one of the few days (love them! embrace them!) in the Jewish calendar that is literally just about celebration and not fuelled by destruction/disaster/communal mourning/self-flaggelation. Instead we get to whoop, eat a lot of yum dairy food, read the story of Ruth, celebrate being given the Torah, stay up late into the night listening to cool-ass lecturers (if you’re lucky) and … well, that’s pretty much it.
I will be attempting my Mum’s recipe for her delicioso cheesecake this year, and will be trying to keep my mind on what the holiday is really about. I’ll admit it, it’s been a couple of years since I stayed up for tikkun leil, the traditional all-night learnathon, but as we’re not in London or Jerusalem this year (the only 2 places in the world I will search out learnathons…?) I plan to hold my own study party for as long as I can keep awake 🙂
So to those celebrating ‘zman matan Torateinu’, or the end of the mourning period of sefirat ha’omer, to those going out for ‘white drinks’ tomorrow night in the white city dressed in their whitest of whites, to those up to their elbows in cheesecakes and blintzes, those camping up north with the family, to those faithfully reenacting the story of Ruth & Naomi tomorrow night (costumes & all) or those simply going to work as usual/having a beach day, I wish each one a very happy Shavuot! Or Chag HaKatzir. Or Pentecost. Or Atzeret. Or Yom HaBikkurim. Enjoy!