As fulfilling as it was to engage in Shavuot programs, a lot weighs on me. With COVID-19 continuing to ravage Black communities and racist violence all over the news, I almost feel like it’s Yom Kippur instead – the time when Jews are supposed to be most aware of their own mortality.
Related Blog Posts on Shavuot
Is this happening because the future is now so uncertain? Am I more aware that every day might be my last? Such questions give us pause and make us take serious stock of our lives.
We see everything around us through a coronavirus-colored lens these days, searching the past for clues about what is to come. This month, I'm using the rhyme about April showers and May flowers as an occasion for hope, seeing every holiday in May as part of this unfolding pandemic.
Last fall’s tragedy in Pittsburgh finally prompted Linda North, now known as Ruth bat Avraham v’Sarah, to set a date for her conversion to Judaism.
Life can strip our ability to stand in awe. When the rent is due, the refrigerator is bare, relationships run us ragged, we struggle to find space for the extraordinary.
Every year as Shavuot approaches, I think about my mother. That’s because her name was Ruth -- just like the book we Jews read on Shavuot.
Jill Zenoff, a Jewish environmental educator and chef, won top prize at this year’s Cheesemonger Invitational. In advance of Shavuot, a dairy-heavy Jewish holiday, she talks about home cheesemaking and her favorite Shavuot recipe.
My kids would rather starve than eat a blintz or other food with roots in the shtetls of Eastern Europe. They’ll have to find other ways to connect to their Jewish past.
In the process of becoming b’nai mitzvah, adult students grapple, struggle, and wrestle, and in the end, always bring Torah to life and life to Torah.