A weekend for a celebration in a small circle with milky products

Since Shavuot is an ancient pilgrimage holiday, it is not surprising that its ritual focuses on the community. Nonetheless, there are a number of customs associated with personal practice. Chief among them is the eating of dairy products on Shavuot. Although the reasons for this custom are not completely clear, it has become traditional to eat milk and cheese products as part of the celebration of Shavuot.

In those times of isolation, we are not able to come together with many, but in our little bubble we still can celebrate the festivals and enjoy some nice cakes.

This year March and April have been very cold months and we, strangely enough, had a few exceptional warmer days in a series of very cold days, with some offering some white carpet of snow (April has been the coldest month since the notation of temperatures). The fruit-trees were a few days in danger of having the flowers been frozen. The strawberries are much later than normal. Normaly we would enjoy them in April and May, but this week the first strawberries were presented in the shops at a high price, because only a few and demand high.

Bringing offerings of the first fruits of our harvest would be normal in other years but this year limited. Also focussing on the community seems weird in these days of isolation. But … But … we shall not let the ancient pilgrimage holiday pass, like it did not occur this year.

Several people may think there is no time this year to celebrate nor to enjoy themselves at a festival along with their sons and daughters,  Many perhaps will think there is no opportunity this year to come into the presence of the El ʿElyon with many and because of the Corona restrictions would not bother about a festive day. But still each man must bring a gift in proportion to the blessings the El ʿElyon our God has given him.

Deu 16:13-17 OJB Chag HaSukkot shalt thou observe shivat yamim, after that thou hast gathered in from thy threshing floor and from thy winepress: (14) And thou shalt rejoice in thy chag (feast), thou, and thy ben, and thy bat, and thy eved, and thy amah, and the Levi, the ger, and the yatom (orphan), and the almanah, that are within thy she’arim. (15) Shivat yamim shalt thou observe the chag (feast) unto Hashem Eloheicha in the place which Hashem shall choose, because Hashem Eloheicha shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, so that thou shalt surely rejoice. (16) Shalosh p’amim bashanah shall all thy males appear before Hashem Eloheicha in the place which He shall choose; in the Chag Matzot, and in the Chag HaShavu’os, and in the Chag HaSukkot, and they shall not appear before Hashem empty-handed: (17) Every man shall give as he is able, according to the Birkat Hashem Eloheicha which He hath given thee.

We should show our thankfulness to the Bore and remember how His Speaking brought His Word and with His Word things were created and as such can also come unto us. Without the Elohim allowing fruit and vegetables to come to us we would not have anything to eat. The same as we receive from God we too should give to others in the same way as we are able, in the measure of the blessing which the Lord our God has given us.

The coming weekend we shall have to celebrate Shavuot in our little circle. It shall be a special weekend where we give thanks for everything which we receive from the Bore, He Who by His Word lets exist. We shall sing the May “Blessing of the Song” thinking of Rabbi Yehudah who said,

“May the Lord our God walk.”

And Rabbi Yochanan who said:

“The soul of all life.”

Let Rabbanan: the fourth finish the praise on him, and say the great praise, the words of Rabbi Tarpon. And some say,

“The Lord will not spare me.”

Hallel deals with all of Jewish history from the birth of our nation to the establishment of the Messianic Era. In Hallel we express our joy at past miracles and our faith in future miracles. In our Amidah we praise God’s providence for the individual and for the sake of the nation as a whole. In the second section we implore God not to forsake us, neither the nation nor the individual.

The coming weekend we shall praise the set apart Name of our Father.

Tehilllim / Psalms 113

רָ֖ם עַל־כָּל־גּוֹיִ֥ם ׀ יְהוָ֑ה עַ֖ל הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם כְּבוֹדֽוֹ׃
The LORD is exalted above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.

By knowing The One Who raises the poor from the dust, lifts up the needy from the refuse heap, we shall greatly enjoy the sweets for that day, eating dairy to symbolize the “land flowing with milk and honey” (Israel) as “milk flows from the goats’ (udders), and honey flows from the figs.”

וָאֵרֵ֞ד לְהַצִּיל֣וֹ ׀ מִיַּ֣ד מִצְרַ֗יִם וּֽלְהַעֲלֹתוֹ֮ מִן־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַהִוא֒ אֶל־אֶ֤רֶץ טוֹבָה֙ וּרְחָבָ֔ה אֶל־אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָ֑שׁ אֶל־מְק֤וֹם הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ וְהַ֣חִתִּ֔י וְהָֽאֱמֹרִי֙ וְהַפְּרִזִּ֔י וְהַחִוִּ֖י וְהַיְבוּסִֽי׃
I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the region of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.  {Shemoth 3:8}

Is it not a nice tradition to eat those milky cakes? And who does not like the cheese products as part of the celebration of Shavuot?

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Preceding

Count Your Blessings — Count The Omer

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Additional reading

  1. To believe in the liberation of slavery and to repent
  2. Adar 6, Matan Torah remembering the giving of Torah
  3. Looking at the time when the Torah was given
  4. To turn the world into a “vessel” receptive of God
  5. Why Sabbaths or Sabbath plural “shabbatot”

4 thoughts on “A weekend for a celebration in a small circle with milky products

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