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Ta Shema: June 3, 2022

This weekend we will celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. Shavuot, the "Feast of Weeks," is celebrated 7 weeks after Passover. The holiday of Shavuot is about two things, the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai and the grain harvest. 

 The first part, the giving of the Torah, is what we most associate with the holiday. On this day in Biblical times, Moses went up the mountain to get the 10 Commandments. Revelation at Sinai was magnificent, but is reported in the Torah to have been over as soon as it started. The Rabbis claim that God was only able to utter the silent letter Aleph before the Jews became too overstimulated to hear any more.

 The second part, the grain harvest, was a major part of the biblical Shavuot experience but is more obscure in modern times. Three times a year, Jews were expected to walk to Jerusalem to offer portions of their harvests to the Temple as part of the Pilgrimage festivals–Sukkot, Passover, and Shavuot. These festivals helped mark formal season changes for farmers, as well as a time to bond as the Jewish people in one space at one time. 

 The Pilgrimage festivals were an interesting phenomenon. Men (yes men, and at the time only freed, able bodied men or teens) walked all the way to Jerusalem three times a year, regardless of where they lived in Israel. Some men who lived especially far away could take weeks to make the journey. They put in a lot of preparation and devotion to getting to the festivals. They didn't have any hotels, gas stations, fast food restaurants, or any modern mode of transportation. What they did have was the stamina and determination to make it and the desire to pass on that tradition to the next generation.

On the heels of Shavuot, this community will have our own festival–the Celebration! Installation! Dedication! Event. It will be an amazing opportunity to come together as one big family with gratitude for our past and excitement for our future. That will be big our Sinai event. Just like with any simcha (joyous occasion) this event will be memorable and time will fly by.

The real miracle of Revelation, however, is in the small steps along the journey of the pilgrimage. Every single detail of the Celebration! Installation! Dedication! Event has been planned out lovingly by our committee members:

Amy DeLoach, Committee Chair

Jon Alper

Reba Alper

Michelle Bannon

Rabbi Chaya Bender

Rena Goldwasser

Terry Jensen

Diane Gerberg

Pam Sender

Joelle Serot

Debbie Smith

Susan Turner

Barbara Waxman

Laurel Westreich

Leigh Winter

Walter Winter

Felice Zeldin

Since October 2021, this committee has met every few weeks, to plan every detail, no matter how small. While the committee members did not walk through deserts carrying their worldly possessions on their backs to attend the meetings, they had the same stamina and determination as our ancestors did. So much time, hard work, attention to detail, and love went into this event. While the event itself will be memorable for years to come, I know this event will also inspire the next generation of synagogue volunteers to step up and give back.

Shavuot Sameach, a very happy Shavuot Holiday. We look forward to celebrating with you shortly at the upcoming Celebration! Installation! Dedication! Event as well as many other future gatherings in our gorgeous and holy synagogue.

 

B'Shalom,

Rabbi Chaya Bender

Mon, December 5 2022 11 Kislev 5783