why do we eat dairy products on shavuot
Menus range from traditional cheese blintzes and cakes to quiches, casseroles and more. There are a number of reasons for this custom. Here are a few:
On the holiday of Shavuot, a two-loaf bread offering was brought in the. To commemorate this, we eat two meals on ShavuotБfirst a dairy meal, and then, after a short break, we eat the traditional holiday meat meal. , the Jews became obligated to observe the laws. As the Torah was given on, no cattle could be slaughtered nor could utensils be koshered, and thus on that day they ate dairy. The Torah is likened to nourishing milk. Also, the Hebrew word for milk is chalav, and when the numerical values of each of the letters in the word chalav are added togetherБ8 + 30 + 2Бthe total is forty. Forty is the number of days spent on Mount Sinai when receiving the Torah. When Moses ascended Mount Sinai, the angels urged to reconsider His decision to give His most precious Torah to earthly beings. БBestow Your majesty upon the heavensб. б. б. What is man that You should remember him, and the son of man that You should be mindful of him? Б ( -7). One of the reasons why the angelsБ request went unheeded is because of the JewsБ meticulous adherence to the laws of the TorahБincluding the kosher laws. Not so the angels, who when visiting consumed butter and milk together with meat (. On Shavuot we therefore eat dairy products and then take a break before eating meatБin order to demonstrate our commitment to this. There are numerous customs regarding when to serve dairy.
The practice in is to serve a dairy meal immediately after morning services. Then, after reciting and waiting an hour, a meat meal is served. Important note when planning your menu: If you will be having meat within six hours of your dairy meal, make sure that you serve only milk and soft cheesesБnot authentic aged (БhardБ) cheese, which would warrant a six-hour wait before meat can be consumed. Looking for dairy recipes? We have a ranging from simple to sophisticated, sure to please every palate. During the holiday meal, it is also appropriate to drink wine, which contributes to the festive nature of the repast. Tonight begins the holiday of Shavuot, commemorating the giving of the Torah to the Jews on Mount Sinai. This holiday is usually celebrated by the consumption of one dairy meal. The question is, why? Well, most of you probably don t know it s a holiday and know even less about the consumption of dairy tradition but what the heck, Froylein already graced us with an so I figured I d let you in on the reasons. Prior to the giving of the Torah to the Jews in Sinai, the Jews were only obligated to follow the Seven Noahide Laws you know, standards like no idolatry, murder, theft, sexual immorality, blasphemy, eating the flesh of an animal while it is still alive, and the establishment of courts. At Sinai, the Jews accepted a further 606 commandments and two of these created immediate problems. The first was the commandment to respect the Sabbath and the second was the laws of Kashrut.
Why was this a problem? Well, until this point, Jews didn t keep kosher. Now all of a sudden all the meat they had prepared, and all the utensils they used to prepare it with was not edible. On top of that, it was also the Sabbath so they couldn t go off and slaughter some new kosher meat. The only thing they could eat was whatever dairy products they had sitting around. It being the desert and all, it s less than likely that they had any Geffilte Fish. Thank Hashem! Geffilte Fish sucks and I think after all those years in bondage in Egypt, the Israelites had suffered enough. But I digress. So this is the most common reason for eating a dairy meal on Shavuot. Other reasons? Hebrew letters have a numerical value and if you add the letters for milk () together you get 40 and Moses spent 40 days on Mt Sinai before descending with the Torah. There s also the notion that milk alone contains enough nutrients to sustain a person (think of a baby suckling from its Mother) and that the Torah contains everything necessary to nurture one s soul. This comes from Chapter 4, verse 11 of the Song of Songs which reads: Thy lips, O my bride, drop honey-honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. or in Hebrew: PiTfZ ZdlilT`Ph YdT`ZiZgd`, glhl; `lgY1 `hh ZglgZ `Y1iPe`, `Xeg Yg`. iZgd` `lXeg `hPi( see, the Song of Songs is treated allegorically by Rabbinic Judaism and in this case the Lover is the nation of Israel and the honey and milk under the tongue of the beloved is the Torah.
Pretty hot right? But please don t ask me to explain that smell of Lebanon part. Country Lebanon smells like a pine scented car deodorizer and City Lebanon smells like hummus and falafel. All of these are very compelling in their own way but not what I usually look for in a beloved. I ll leave hummus scented lovers to fetishists like. Are there other reasons? You betcha! Anyone who has watched Cecile B. Demille s Ten Commandments, I mean Moses was set afloat on the Nile in order to escape a decree by Pharaoh condemning all male Jewish newborns to death. Moses was then found and adopted by Pharoh s daughter. All indications are that Moses was a lovely child except for one thing, he wouldn t let any of the Egyptian wet nurses feed him. Finally, Pharoh s daughter found a Hebrew woman who Moses would allow to feed him. That woman was Yocheved, Moses biological mother. The day she was hired? The 6th day of the Hebrew month of Sivan. Can you guess what happens on that day? The holiday of Shavuot! There are more reasons of course but the bottom line is, religiously sanctioned cheesecake! Now if that isn t divine, I don t know what is. Oh and do by all means Rabbi Yonah s column explaining. What? yeah. Divinely sanctioned Beer. How ya like that?
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