A Measure Of Torah

From reading the Book of Ruth to eating cheese blintzes Shavuot is the holiday commemorating God’s giving of the Torah to the ancient Israelites at Mount Sinai. It also is known as the Feast of Weeks and is observed on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan. The festival is one of the… Read More

Shavuot—A Festival of Milk And Honey

Shavuot marks the anniversary of the “giving of the Torah.” It was at this time that God revealed himself on Mount Sinai and gave Moses the Ten Commandments. The Torah is said to be “as nutritious as milk and as sweet as honey,” because so many foods consist of dairy dishes and perhaps a touch… Read More

The Ten Jewish Values Of Shavuot

In the 16th century, the mystics of Safed revitalized Shavuot observance with a brilliant form of adult education – an intellectual seder called “tikkun layl Shavuot.” They put together a selection of the entire Jewish tradition that could be studied in one night. In an age of sound bites, an all night test is too… Read More

Milky Way

In addition to being a singer, and imagining himself an actor, Elvis Presley spent a great deal of time serving as his own interior decorator. At his Memphis home, visitors are invited to admire (if you’re an Elvis fan), or just tolerate (if you’re not), his “jungle room.”

Countdown to Shavuot

From the second night of Pesach (Passover) to Shavuot, the next festival, there are exactly fifty days, seven full weeks linked by a ritual called S’firat ha-Omer, Counting the Omer (named for an offering brought to the priests as the Temple in Jerusalem at this time of year). In a sense, then, Pesach is not… Read More

On Shavuot, An Exploration Of Contemporary Issues Surrounding Conversion

Next week, Jews celebrate Shavuot. The holiday, which falls this year on May 15 and 16, commemorates God’s giving of the Torah to the Jews at Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. On Shavuot, it is customary to read The Book of Ruth.  Therein, Ruth the Moabite, also known as a “righteous convert,” tells… Read More

Torah navigation leads to new journeys

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On Shavuot, we celebrate being given the Five Books of Moses by opening the gift and reading from the scroll. But first we need to find the place. How do we find our place in the Torah?

Israeli cheese and wine for Shavuot

Part of the joy of living in Israel as opposed to visiting for a short break is that it affords one the opportunity to spend weekends discovering Israel’s hidden gems, only unearthed through opportune conversations or chance encounters on a morning hike. Hiking through the Jerusalem hills, wooden signs adorned with an image of a… Read More

Glimpse Of The Divine

It was one of my first days as a chaplain resident at the University of Virginia Health System. As I visited patients during my regular rounds, I entered the room of a middle-aged man who was being treated for cancer.  We were different ages and came from dissimilar communities and backgrounds.  I was just 30;… Read More

Shavuot Celebrations Spur Baltimore Day School Students To Think Torah, 10 Commandments, Cheesecake

Caramel cheesecake. Strawberry cheesecake. Chocolate cheesecake. A big jar of Lactaid. Yep! It’s Shavuot again — on May 15 and 16 — and Jews across Baltimore and the world will settle down for traditional dairy treats such as blintzes and vegetable lasagna. But Shavuot isn’t about the dairy food we eat, but rather a celebration… Read More