Shavuot celebrates the revelation of Sinai and the giving of the Torah. It started as a harvest festival and has now morphed, as many holidays do, into something more cerebral and…of course…filled with glorious food.
This holiday is marked by a tribute to dairy. Why? Well, we’re not exactly sure. There’s mystical reasons, and historical reasons, but mainly it’s because the cultures of the time were producing cheese during this season, and so came the tradition of eating dairy on the holiday.
But Shavuot is more than just food. It’s a time when Jews engage in intense Torah debate all night long. Imagine tons of people, sitting around binge eating on cheesecake, drinking, reading and arguing. It’s rad.
The Book of Ruth is a big part of Shavuot as well. We read Ruth because Ruth’s coming to Israel took place around the time of Shavuot, and her conversion to Judaism is a great analogy for the Jewish people accepting the Torah. acceptance into the Jewish faith was analogous of the acceptance of the Jewish people of God’s Torah. It also helps that the Book of Ruth ends with the genealogy of David, and there’s a midrash (myth) that says that David died on Shavuot.
I hope you have an awesome Shavuot. I know I will!