Tuesday, December 1st 2020   |

Shavuot

Person in the Parsha: Shavuot

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

A MESSAGE FOR THE ENTIRE TEAM

All beginning students of Torah face this obstacle: in their original, the primary texts of our Jewish tradition have no punctuation. There are neither commas nor periods in the Torah scroll, the Sefer Torah. There are no question marks, nor are there indications of where one paragraph ends and another begins in standard editions of the...

Person in the Parsha: Bamidbar

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

TRANSITIONS AND DESTINATIONS” 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about transitions and destinations. Perhaps this is because of my childhood memories. Back then, at precisely this time of year, my friends and I relished the approach of the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. For us, school was merely a seemingly endless passage toward our longed-for destination, the...

Cheesecake

By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER

We customarily celebrate Shavuot (commemorating the Revelation of the Torah at Sinai) with a dairy meal. Blintzes, cheesecake – for some, lasagna – are holiday favorites. The Chofetz Chayim explained this practice as recalling that our ancestors, upon receiving the Dietary Laws at Sinai, discovered they had no kosher meat… and were constrained to eat dairy products. Others link the distinctive menu to Song of...

OP-ED: On Shavuot, remember that Ruth was a poor immigrant

By RABBI RUHI SOPHIA MOTZKIN RUBENSTEIN  

EUGENE, Oregon (JTA) — A destitute widowed immigrant does what it takes to scrape by so she and her aging mother-in-law can survive. She deals with invisibility; she deals with unwanted attention; she performs manual labor; and she eventually marries up, has a child and escapes the grind. Presumably, this is the happy ending she was hoping for.

Where have we heard this story...

5 ways to celebrate Shavuot — without (necessarily) studying Torah

By BEN SALES

NEW YORK (JTA) — Shavuot is the “Rodney Dangerfield of Jewish holidays,” says Rabbi Shira Stutman of Washington, D.C.’s Sixth and I synagogue.

Meaning: It gets no respect.

Considered by Jewish tradition to be on par with the fall and spring festivals of Succot and Passover, Shavuot is sometimes ignored because it is six days shorter — the holiday celebrating the biblical giving of the Torah at Mount...

What sex in a traditional Shavuot reading can teach today’s teens

By RABBI DONNA KIRSHBAUM

OMER, Israel (JTA) — As Jews, we tend to pride ourselves on our tradition’s values and how we pass them on to future generations; values such as education, tzedakah, loving the stranger, pursuing justice and tikkun olam, “repair of the world.” But if you were to start a conversation today with a teenager, would you be ready to articulate Jewish values related to dating and sexuality?

Several...

How to make perfect cheesecake 5 ways

By RONNIE FEIN

You know Shavuot is coming when you begin to see cheesecakes everywhere. Countless variations in the bakeries and supermarkets. Endless numbers of recipes in the media. Cheesecake is the iconic Shavuot dessert, as sacrosanct as a Hanukkah latke or Passover matzah ball.

Unfortunately, cheesecake is one of those deceptively simple recipes, the kind that requires some tips and techniques to get right. Also, not everyone agrees on what makes...

Sweet Ricotta & Strawberry Bourekas recipe for Shavuot

By DANIELLE ORON

(The Nosher via JTA) — I’m a cheese and dairy fanatic. So for obvious reasons my favorite holiday is Shavuot. This is when spring has sprung and my family makes a whole spread of cheese and dairy-filled foods and desserts. There is always a ton of different cheeses, spreads, breads, fluffy cheesecake, kugel, blintzes and my absolute favorite, bourekas – puff pastry or a simple butter pie dough filled...

On Shavuot, who (or what) will get the first fruits?

By EDMON J. RODMAN

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — As we approach Shavuot, there’s a battle going on in our garden over who — or what — will get our first fruits.

In ancient days in Israel, beginning at Shavuot — the holiday that marked the wheat harvest as well as the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai — people brought to the Temple in Jerusalem an offering from their first harvest. The practice...

Seven ways to celebrate a meaningful Shavuot

By MAAYAN JAFFE

(JNS.org) — At sundown on Saturday, May 23, Jews around the world will start the two-day holiday (which lasts only one day in Israel) of Shavuot. Also known as the Festival of Weeks because it marks the completion of the counting of the Omer period—which is 49 days long, or seven weeks of seven days—Shavuot is one of the Jewish calendar’s shalosh regalim pilgrimage holidays.

Unlike the...