My Personal Observance – Shavuot
I am a teacher, a spiritual leader and steadfast believer in the values of faith. Maybe that is why Shavuot has always been special to me. Much less celebrated than the “big” holidays (Passover, Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), Shavuot falls at a time of year where, in America (and specifically South Florida) it seems to get over looked. Religious school has ended, academic classes are coming to a close – it is the season of awards assemblies, dance recitals, and little league world series games. And, everyone has summer, and preparing for summer on his or her brains (I am no exception – you know how excited I am to visit Israel this year).
But Shavuot is special to me; it is the one time a year we specifically celebrate G-d giving the Torah at Mount Sinai. It is the celebration of Torah, Jewish education and Jewish life – all things so personally important to me; they are truly my way of life.
While the very observant recognize this holiday in synagogue, studying the Torah, I take a very different approach; one that is right for me. I am going to spend my holiday reflecting on this past “school year” – evaluating what I have shared with my students and what I have learned from them. I am going to think back to all of the opportunities I have had to share my “Jewish lifestyle” with my families, and remember the special moments I have had sharing theirs. And, I am going to take a moment and reflect on how special this day truly is, it is a celebration of the Torah, which guides our lives. And, in the tradition of eating dairy meals during this holiday, I may even treat myself (and my beautiful grandson) to a piece of cheesecake!
I encourage you all to take some time during Shavuot to celebrate the Torah and your Jewish life. It is a special bond that brings us, and keeps us, together.