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Jewish Holidays

Chag Sameach from Efrat

June 30, 2006, by

By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Of all the memorable historical occurrences in the Torah, none is more significant than the day of the revelation at Sinai, when Israel received the Torah from G d. Nevertheless, unlike the date of the exodus from Egypt (Passover, celebrated on the 15th day of Nissan) and the original date of […]

Shavuot: Megillat Ruth

June 30, 2006, by

It is an almost universal Jewish custom to read Megillat Ruth on Shavuot. The most widely-accepted basis for reciting the story of Ruth is her conversion to Judaism, for it was – on a small, personal scale – a recreation of the grandiose acceptance of Torah at Har Sinai by the entire Jewish nation many […]

Three Approaches to Remembering

June 30, 2006, by

Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev was asked to explain why Shavuot is also referred to as Atzeret, even though the Torah only uses the term Atzeret in association with Shemini Atzeret, not Shavuot. He offered three explanations. First, all festivals have specific practical mitzvah observances associated with their celebrations, beyond the mere forbiddance of labor […]

Shavuot Tidbits: An Overview of the Holiday

June 30, 2006, by

MISC. REVIEW FOR SHAVUOT Hard to be brief; I’ll try. Candles: SOP (standard operating procedure) for women lighting Shabbat candles is light them, cover eyes, say Bracha. Should have been Bracha before lighting, but maybe Bracha is acceptance of Shabbat and then lighting would be forbidden. Yom Tov should be Bracha and then light because […]

Customs of Shavuot

June 30, 2006, by

What are the Customs of Shavuot? Shavuot has a number of customs which are deeply ingrained in the celebration of the holiday. Among these are the following: Staying up all night to learn Torah on the first night of Shavuot Spreading greens and flowers in the synagogue on Shavuot Eating Dairy Meals on Shavuot Staying […]

The Story of Ruth

June 30, 2006, by

“Your People is my People, and your G-d my G-d” (Ruth 1,16) What is the Story of Ruth? Our story begins in the Land of Israel, during the Period of the Rule of the Judges, leaders of the Jewish People who preceded the Kings, towards the beginning of their national residence in the Land of […]

“Akdamut” and “Ketubah”

June 30, 2006, by

“Akdamut” and “Ketubah” From one end of the Diaspora to the other, a need was felt to add components to the Service of Shavuot. The components added, “Akdamut,” “Before I Speak,” created in and added throughout the world of Ashkenazic Jewry, and “Ketubah,” “The Marriage Contract,” created in and very popular in the world of […]

The Laws and the Service of Shavuot

June 30, 2006, by

Rabbi Shimon said, ‘Pesach and Sukkot, which do not fall during times that work is done in the fields, this one (Pesach) is seven days, and the other (Sukkot), eight. Atzeret (Shavuot), which falls at a time when work is done in the fields, is only one day – to teach that the Torah has […]

The Heavenly Debate

June 30, 2006, by

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said, “When Moshe was in Heaven (for all practical purposes, the top of Mt. Sinai was the same as Heaven when Moshe went up to receive the Torah), the Angels protested before G-d, “What is the son of a woman doing up here?” G-d answered them, “He is here to take […]

Bringing the First Fruit

June 30, 2006, by

“You shall bring the First-Fruits of your Land to the House of Hashem your G-d…” (Shemot 23,19) One of the names of the Holiday of Shavuot, is “Chag HaBikkurim,” “The Holiday of the First Fruits.” This refers to the “mitzvah,” or Torah-command, to Jewish farmers to bring to the Temple their first fruits, from the […]