This Shavuot is not like the others. Normally we would be gathering together in person to worship in Holy Convocation and that would be followed by an Oneg. This year, 2020, that is not an option that we have. So how are we going to celebrate Shavuot?
Shavuot is a special Shabbat day that starts this year, 2020, on Thursday evening, May 28. Many of our people will choose to take this day off from their usual occupation. But even if you are not able to do that, we are having a Holy Convocation available Thursday evening at 8:00 pm. We are just going to do this virtually. Please join us via the link on our website.
Shavuot is the Feast where traditionally we consume dairy products (cheese, glorious, cheese). This is why we usually have an Oneg that features all kinds of cheesecakes after our Shavuot service. So maybe you can make a cheesecake or buy one (or two…) for your family. Here is the link to my favorite recipe for New York Style Cheesecake.
But if that sounds too ambitious even for your “safer at home” kitchen experiments, it does not have to be cheesecake or even cheese blintzes. Mac & cheese has plenty of dairy… and milk shakes are easy.
Since Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mt Sinai, another tradition in the Jewish community is to stay up all night Shavuot studying the Scriptures. There are opportunities to do this online (register for UMJC’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot, an All Night Torah Study starting at 6:00 pm CT) or, as a family or individual, you can set aside time to study the Word on this Festival.
In many Jewish traditions, the Book of Ruth is read on Shavuot. Ruth has special meaning as a story of a woman who chose to align herself with the Children of Israel and bind herself to them and to Torah. Reading the Book of Ruth at this time can be of special meaning to those Gentiles who have joined themselves to the Commonwealth of Israel through Messiah.
So even though this year Shavuot may not look the same, there are plenty of ways in that we can celebrate the the giving of the Torah and the Ruach ha-Kodesh.