May 24, 2012
Woohoo, it’s Shavuot!
Shavuot is hands down my favorite Jewish holiday because we are mandated to eat dairy foods, stay up all night learning and share festive family time. These three customs are activities that fit in perfectly with my preferences. Even better is celebrating this year with a three day holiday--Shabbat and Yom Tov together. Some people find that a hardship, but I say “in for a penny in for a pound.” Having Shavuot overlap with Memorial Day weekend is a further blessing. Let the eating, drinking, beaching and celebrating all begin!
Here’s my plan to take full advantage of this fortuitous alignment of the dates. I will cook up every one of our favorite dairy and vegetarian dishes, freezing some of them and making some fresh on erev chag, the holiday eve. I’ve invited some guests and accepted some invitations, one activity per day, giving our family some quiet, meditative time to digest and to contemplate and absorb the meaning of the festival.
So first of all, our boys will come home for Shabbat and Shavuot, making us a five-family again if only for the long weekend. We can catch up on each other’s happenings and I can shep nachas from my kids in person, the best feeling in the world.
I plan to nap on Shabbat afternoon in order to be alert on Saturday evening for the all-nighter (I usually last until about 2 a.m., but who’s counting). Though I enjoy being in shul to hear my beloved Rabbi’s speeches and, of course, to socialize with my friends, I have to admit that I’m not a regular shul-goer. I justify my absences with the lame excuse of the mile long walk from home and a less pathetic one when I often have guests for lunch. Somehow though, the idea of walking a mile back and forth in the middle of the night with my husband and kids really appeals to me.