The JIDF Wishes You and Yours a HAPPY SHAVUOS!

Learn more about the holiday here. The following are some of our favorite tidbits about Shavuos (from the aforementioned site):

  • While Passover is the time we became the Nation to receive a Mission, it was on Shavuos that we received that Mission. Shavuos marks the season during which the Creator gave us custody of the Torah. On that day (3,320 years ago), the purpose of Creation was handed over to us, and the responsibility for its maintenance became our charge. During this Holiday, we renew that relationship, and re-accept that responsibility
  • Shavuos is not called the "Season in which we received the Torah," but rather, the "season in which the Torah was given." That marked the beginning of our deeper relationship with the Creator, but in truth we must affirm it every day. Every day of our lives is another day of "receiving the Torah," but the special moment of the Giving of the Torah takes place on Shavuos
  • Since it also takes place during the harvest of the wheat and the fruit, it is customary to decorate the home and synagogue with leaves and branches. The reason for this seems to be because on Shavuos we are judged concerning the trees, and we must remember to pray that the trees grow well and healthy
  • Around the time of Shavuos, all of the People of Israel, the entire Nation, stood at Mount Sinai and witnessed the Giving of the Torah. Every Jewish soul that was ever created was present at Mount Sinai, and was actively involved in receiving the Responsibility of the Torah. We assembled at the mountain, and heard the voice of the Creator speak, yet we saw no image whatsoever. We saw incontrovertible evidence that there is a Creator Who is an active force within the universe and on this earth. The Creator then charged us with our mission on this earth: to accept and nurture the beautiful gift and opportunity we were receiving, to conduct ourselves with the dignity and holiness: to develop ourselves only according to the multi-faceted dictates of the Torah, and to follow no other system
  • The first night of Shavuos it is customary to stay awake all night (until dawn) and study Torah. Some people say Tikun Lail Shavuos, which consists of representative quotes from every section of the Torah, from the Written Torah to the Oral Torah. But many people simply study any Torah they have the ability and knowledge to learn
  • Because Shavuos marks both the birth and death of King David, many people read the entire Book of Psalms on the second day. The Torah reading in the synagogue for the second day is the Torah's instructions about the various Holidays throughout the Jewish year. We also study the Book of Ruth since the events of the Book of Ruth occurred around Shavuos time. The Book of Ruth also recounts King David's ancestry
  • A Shavuos Parable: A king planted a garden. After some days, the king looked at the garden and found it full of thorns. He was about to destroy the garden, when he saw a rose blossoming in it. The king declared, "For the sake of that one rose, I will not destroy the garden!" So too, although the world is mired in sin and degradation, for the sake of the Torah, and for the sake of the Jewish People, whose purpose it is to fulfill the Torah, the world is not destroyed, but rather, the whole world is saved

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