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Shavuot

Perhaps the least well known of the three pilgrimage holidays (Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot), Shavuot, the feast of Weeks, is no less important.  Arriving after the completion of counting the omer from Passover. It is called the Season of the Gift of Our Torah, and commemorates the collective Divine revelation experienced at Mt Sinai.

 

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What's happening this year? What is Shavuot?  |   Where is the Meaning?

What's Happening This Year? | Our plans for Shavuot 2022

Each year, we celebrate Shavuot by joining with the rest of the Boulder Jewish community for an all-night program of study led by the community’s rabbis and educators. This practice, which dates from the medieval period, is called a Leyl Tikkun or Tikkun Leyl - a night of perfection.

 

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A Little History | So what is Shavuot and why do we celebrate it?

Shavuot means weeks, and is a reference to the completion of 7 weeks of counting the omer which follows passover. Shavuot is the holiday associated with the wheat harvest from our agricultural past. It is also the holiday when we commemorate the receiving of the Torah from Mount Sinai in the desert after leaving Egypt as the Hebrew People. Each year we are asked to envision ourselves receiving the Torah again. Prompting us to reexamine our relationship to tradition and to the Divine. 

Today we celebrate this holiday by studying all night on the first night of the holiday, having specific prayers and readings from our tradition in synagoguge, eating wheat and dairy foods, and making and wearing flower crowns.

Now you may ask, "Wait, why the dairy foods?" Well this harkens back to our more agricultural times. Shavuot takes place in the late spring, which is about the time baby goats and sheep are being weaned off their mother's milk and yet the mothers may still produce milk if we continue milk them. So in this time of the year there is an abundance of milk! 

The Mystical Meanings | Some Psycho-Spiritual Meanings and Themes

Shavuot, like all other Jewish Holidays, has a myriad of themes to connect to on a psycho-spiritual level. Each holiday has the ability for interpretation and reflection. Each year the holiday can mean something else because, as the years pass we change, and how we see the holiday changes with us. Here are some themes that you may want to work with this year or in years to come.

  • What is the Torah you are receiving this year? What is even the first letter of the truth you are receiving?
  • What does it mean to be so tied to the rhythms of time and the land around us? How are you tuned into the land around you? The season?
  • How is patience needed to trully recieve? How does the passage of time allow us to be ready for what is given?
  • How do you connect to the idea of the Mitzvot? How do you connect to being told what to do and what not to do? What is your relationship to trusting the Divine?
Fri, October 15 2021 9 Cheshvan 5782