Cheesecake, Anyone? – Shavuot is Coming!

Cheesecake for Shavuot

Shavuot has so many names. Since it celebrates receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, one of its names is Z’man Matan Torah, or Time of the Giving of Torah. “Shavuot celebrates the moment when the Jewish people stood before God at Mount Sinai and received a scroll containing all the secrets of the universe as a memento of their encounter.  The scroll was the Torah.  She is called a tree of life.” (Anita Diamant, Living a Jewish Life ) The name itself has the word “shavuah” in it, the Hebrew word for week. So Hag haShavuot, Feast of Weeks, recognizes the seven-week period between Passover and … [Read more...]

Celebrating Shavuot with Flowers

Shavuot celebration

Shavuot is rich in important themes – and equally rich in names, reminding us of the different celebrations encompassed by the holiday: Hag ha-Shavuot – Feast of Weeks – the 7-week period between Passover and Shavuot Yom ha-Bikkurim – First Fruits Day – the tradition from Temple days when Jewish farmers tied threads around the first fruits, then brought them to the Temple Hag ha-Katzir – Festival Harvest – celebrating the season of wheat harvesting Z’man Matan Torah – Time of Giving the Torah Here is a wonderfully moving description of the giving of Torah from Rabbi Lawrence … [Read more...]

Blintz Festival for Shavuot

Eat dairy on Shavuot

This year, Shavuot starts on Saturday, May 23rd. So you really can plan for a yummy blintz event with your family and friends. And yes! Involve the kids. Blintzes are a natural for Shavuot, because dairy is one of the three main categories of foods. The others are twin hallot (representing two Torah scrolls) and three-cornered kreplach. Joan Nathan’s How to Make a Cheese Blintz If you are new to blintz-making, start here with Joan’s easy-to-follow video about how to make blintzes. As you watch it, imagine which parts your kids can do, based on their ages. Shopping Search for … [Read more...]

Play with Food and Flowers for Shavuot

Celebrate Shavuot with Dairy Foods

So you know that classic foods for Shavuot include dairy (cheese and milk) + twin challahs (challot), and kreplach. In our last post, we talked about making no-bake mini-cheesecakes. And I am in awe of the extraordinary challah masterpieces for Shavuot that experienced bakers make. I also absolutely love the idea of decorating your home with fragrant flowers and spices. But what I truly love is inviting kids to bring their creative touches to food and decorations for Shavuot. Go ahead. Play with your food. One way to bring home the message of Shavuot is by providing seasonal … [Read more...]

4 Fun Ways to Celebrate Shavuot

Countdown to Shavuot

Trick question: What does Shavuot celebrate? a)      The giving of the Torah (Z’man Matan Torateinu) b)      The harvest holiday (Hag Hakatzir) c)       Holiday of the first fruits (Hag Habikurim) d)      Feast of Weeks (Hag Shavuot) The answer is e) All of the above! Here's a short overview about Shavuot from judaism.com. Given the diversity of celebration possibilities, here are four ideas inspired by books about Shavuot that can be precursors to activities to enjoy as a family. Or, you can just jump into the activities. #1. The popular “Mountains of Blintzes” by … [Read more...]