Shavuot: The holiday of the cheesecake?​​​​​​​

Significance of the Giving of the Torah

(כה) כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יי אִם־לֹ֥א בְרִיתִ֖י יוֹמָ֣ם וָלָ֑יְלָה חֻקּ֛וֹת שָׁמַ֥יִם וָאָ֖רֶץ לֹא־שָֽׂמְתִּי׃

So said the Lord: If not My covenant with the day and the night, that the statutes of heaven and earth I did not place

The Commitment of Being Jewish

(ח) וַיַּעֲנ֨וּ כָל־הָעָ֤ם יַחְדָּו֙ וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ כֹּ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר יי נַעֲשֶׂ֑ה וַיָּ֧שֶׁב מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הָעָ֖ם אֶל־יי׃

(8) All the people answered as one, saying, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the people’s words to the LORD.

How is Shavuot essential to establishing our Jewish identity? š

Letters of the Chazon Ish, vol. 1 Ch. 37 – toiling in Torah study brings a person to exalted levels of spiritual awareness and understanding.

What role do the mitzvot play in actualizing our mission?

  • Rambam, Mishneh Torah, end of Hilchot Temurah (the laws of Temurah) – the mitzvot (commandments) are G-d’s instructions and advice for living and improving our middot (character traits).

  • Rabbi Chaim Friedlander, Sifsei Chaim, p. 128 – the purpose of the Torah is to transform the material world into a vessel for spirituality.

The 10 Commandments

Based on Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch, Shemot 20:14 – The Ten Commandments prepared the Jewish people for the remainder of the Torah .

What are the customs of Shavuot holiday and what do they symbolize?

  1. Megillat Ruth

  2. Staying up late

  3. Eating Dairy Foods

  4. Decorating the Synagogue