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The Jewish festival of Shavuot – literally meaning “weeks – originally began as a pilgrimage festival seven weeks after Passover that marked the beginning of the summer wheat harvest.
Rabbinic tradition teaches that when God spoke at Sinai, the world was silenced - birds did not sing, breezes did not rustle leaves in the trees. Out of that profound silence came the word, and were the world silent again, for even an instant, we could hear the everlasting echo of God's voice.
One of the great examples of Reform Jewish thinking, some 2,000 years before there was anything called Reform Judaism, regards the Festival of Shavuot.
Do you love to make special foods for the Jewish holidays? Shavuot (which starts at sundown on June 3rd this year) can really inspire creativity in the kitchen. Or, if you prefer, it can be extremely simple.
There are various explanations for why this particular date is special. One suggests that a plague that caused the death of thousands of Rabbi Akiva's students ended on Lag BaOmer.
After Passover, we noticed that our 11-year-old son disappeared after school for hours at a time. When we asked him about what he was doing, he divulged few details.