One of the Shalosh Regalim, the tree biblical pilgrimage festivals and marks the conclusion of Counting the Omer, Shavuot occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan. Long days at work, busy time, family and other engagements mean that we don’t have the freedom to embark on a pilgrimage to the holy land and Western Wall in Jerusalem. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t make new Shavuot traditions best suited for the 21th century. We have gathered a few new traditions you can embrace:
1.As a pilgrimage festival, you can make a short trip of your own, not necessarily go hiking up a mountain or travel abroad, but take a few hours to travel to a nearby camping or picnic site, if the weather permits, travel to the beach or nature reservation. Travelling is always an adventure personally and physically. Time to contemplate and be make plans and be thankful.
2. If time permits, stay the night and camp out in the place of your choice. Under the stars you can tell your children the story of receiving the Torah or the story of Ruth just as the Israelites camped out at Mount Sinai while Moses went up to God after leaving Egypt.
3. Shavuot is a holiday that marks the end of grain season and beginning of fruit season, follow the Mitzvah and prepare a challah for your Shavuot sleepover, delicious and fresh, everyone will love to get a bite!
4. Many years after arriving to the Promised Land and building of temple, with the beginning of Shavuot, it was costumed to bring the best fruit to the sanctuary. In performing the Bikkurim ritual, the bearer expressed his gratitude to god by releasing his ancestors from Egypt and “God has brought us into this place, and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”(Deuteronomy 26:9). That means that Shavuot is a great time to go the farmers market, select the best fruit and dairy products and your snacks for your pilgrimage are ready!
5. No Shavuot is complete without an amazing cheesecake with berries or blintzes so forget the calories and treat yourself and loved ones with delicious dairy dishes.