Shavuot means ‘weeks’ and is celebrated seven weeks after Passover. It combines celebration of the grain harvest of the early summer and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai seven weeks after the exodus from Egypt.
The giving of Torah on Sinai is the seminal event of Jewish religious memory, establishing the covenant between God and Israel. All night study on Shavuot is a kabbalistic (mystical) custom that is relatively new to Jewish tradition. It is increasingly popular among modern Jews and is meant to help us rededicate ourselves to studying Torah. Kabbalists taught that at midnight on Shavuot the skies open for a brief moment and God favorably hears all prayers.
Dairy items are the food of choice for Shavuot. Many families enjoy blintzes and other dairy foods at dinner. This is a custom is tied to a description of Israel in as the
“land flowing with milk and honey” in Exodus 3:8. Cheesecake is a widely popular Shavuot item in the United States and is often served for dessert and during late night study sessions. In keeping with tradition the J has decided to host a Shavuot Cheesecake Recipe Contest! Starting May 8th Click to this link and post your favorite recipe.
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