One of the big perks of Judaism is that there’s always a holiday around the corner. Depressed that the Purim fun has ended? Dry your eyes, there’s Passover. Miss eating all things matzah? Here comes Shavuot. And along with each holiday is a unique set of traditions; in the latter case it’s cheesecake, blintzes and all-night Torah study. And each holiday also has its own preparations. In the case of Passover, we’ve all been there: elbow deep in bleach, scrubbing out crevices we never knew existed.
With Shavuot lots of us tend to focus on the food. After all, it’s not every holiday where lasagne replaces brisket as the main course. So we browse dairy recipes, buying up ricotta, cream cheese, butter…all things rich and decadent.
But there’s a much deeper aspect to Shavuot preparation, that of spiritual preparation. The period between Passover and Shavuot was the time the Israelites required to prepare themselves for accepting the Torah; in other words, the time necessary to form a group of recently freed slaves into a proper nation with a national identity. Like Passover, where seder participants are meant to feel as though they themselves are transitioning from exile to redemption, so too can we utilize these weeks between the holidays to build our Jewish identity and explore new avenues of learning and study.
Don’t worry – the recipes are coming in Friday’s posting**. But along with menu planning, how about some soul searching?
**Any special recipe requests? Post a comment or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to source tried and true recipes for your favorite dish.