Friday, June 3, 2016

Shavuot, Confirmation and Cheesecake

Next Motzei Shabbat,(Saturday night) and Sunday is the holiday of Shavuot.  On Sunday morning June 12, 10:30am at Lakeside Congregation we will be confirming our 10th grade students. If you have never attended this t'filah I highly encourage you to come and celebrate with us.  Besides thoughtful d'vrei Torah on the theme of Beyond Words by all of our students we have a light kiddush lunch which is highlighted by the favorite desserts of all of the confirmands.

I am sure we will have cheesecake as it is a custom to eat milk products on Shavuot.  (Some derive the practice directly from scripture, saying we eat dairy to symbolize the “land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8) promised to the Israelites, or that “milk and honey are under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11). These passages, along with “The precepts of the Lord are… sweeter than honey” (Psalm 19:9-11) also indicate we should eat honey, which is customary in some communities. From My Jewish learning)
Shavuot is sometimes a lost holiday.  As it is this year we are celebrating after we have finished our Religious School year.  We are not in school when we celebrate and not yet at camp.  Our students and families don't realize that it is on par with Sukkot and Pesach as one of the Pilgrimage holidays.

Shavuot has several designations in the Bible. Shavuot means in Hebrew: weeks.  As we know here at Lakeside this refers to the counting of the Omer for 7 weeks between Pesach and Shavuot. The Book of Exodus 23:16 designates it as “Hag HaKatzir” — the Festival of the Harvest — which identifies the holiday with an agricultural season. The Book of Numbers 28:26 designates it as “Hag HaBikkurim” –the Festival of the First Fruits, which specified the time on which the custom was to offer first fruits. When I studied for the year in Israel I spent Shavuot on Kibbutz and actually saw the first fruits brought out on a tractor including all of the babies born in the last year.  It is a festive fun holiday.