May 12, 2010 2:23 am at 2:23 am #591658
FLOWERS AND GREENS
A beautiful long-standing Shavuot tradition is the decoration of our homes and shuls (synagogues) with fragrant flowers, leaves, tree branches, and greens. Many reasons have been given for this custom.
Flowers: Our Sages taught that although Har Sinai was situated in a desert, in honor of the Torah the desert bloomed and sprouted flowers.
Greens: Our Sages taught that on Shavuot judgment is rendered regarding the trees of the field.
TIKUN LAIL SHAVUOT
A well established Minhag (custom) calls for all-night Torah study on the first night of Shavuot, because on the day the Bnei Yisroel were to receive the Torah, the nation overslept. As an atonement, the Zohar says that certain pious individuals would remain awake the entire night of Shavuot as a means to rectify this lapse.
In some congregations, Rabbis lecture deep into the night, either to enable the entire congregation to study the same topic or perhaps to accommodate those who are not capable of studying by themselves, (or perhaps to put some congregants to sleep – only kidding).
It is customary to eat a dairy meal at least once on Shavuot. Others eat dairy products (but not hard cheese) before the main (meat) lunch meal.
There are several reasons given by our Sages for the custom of eating a dairy meal on Shavuot. One of them is, that on Shavuot, the Bnei Yisroel had just received the Torah (and the laws of Kashrut therein), and they did not have both meat and dairy dishes yet, and were unable to use their dishes that day (Shabbat) until they were rendered Kosher by the proper process of “kashering” utensils. Thus their meal was a dairy meal.
Another reason is that the Torah is compared to Milk.
The word for milk, Chalav, has the numerical value of 40, corresponding to the 40 days Moses spent on Har Sinai.
For a great Shavuot recipe Click here.
On the first day of Shavuot, after the Kohain has been called to the Torah, but before he recites his blessing, Akdamut is read responsively, the chazzan saying two verses, and the congregation saying the next two. It was composed as an introduction to the Aseret Hadibrot. Consisting of ninety verses, composed by Rabbi Meir ben Yitzchak, it is probably one of Judaism’s best known and most beloved Piyut (liturgical poem). It is a description of Hashem’s creation of the world and close look at the splendors of Olam Habah (the World to Come). It describes the Malachim’s praise of Hashem and the greatness and the suffering of Bnei Yisroel.
MEGILLAT (THE SCROLL OF) RUTH
Megillat Ruth is read on the second day of Shavuot, before the reading of the Torah. Many reasons are given for this practice:
The entire Torah is loving kindness, and this Megillah consists of loving kindness, therefore it is read on the day of the giving of the Torah (Midrash Rabbah).
The act of Ruth’s conversion took place during the harvest season, ‘at the beginning of the barley harvest’ to the ‘end of the wheat harvest.’ This period includes the Yom Tov Shavuot.
Matan Torah marks the beginning of the Jewish Nation, when they entered into the Covenant with Hashem. Megillat Ruth tells how Ruth entered into that Covenant.May 14, 2010 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #1155067
Sing! As it’s written: “V’atoh (with Ayin) Bonim, Shiru Lamelech…” (Piyutim of Shavuos).May 16, 2010 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #1155068
Drinking coffee throughout the first night. I have seen this minhag done almost in every kehillah & by many ehrliche Yidden.May 16, 2010 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #1155069
bein hasdorim, that isn’t a minhag it’s just the way it is because coffee keeps u up t so people drink so they should be able to shteig throughout the night.May 6, 2012 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #1155070
On the first day of Shavuot, after the Kohain has been called to the Torah, but before he recites his blessing: The older Minhog which is still retained in many places is to recite Akdomus after the 1st verse of Kerias haTorah, prior to reading of ther 2nd verse.
As far as cheese cake goes, I have unfortunately seen people serve tofuti cheese cake served; This defeats entire purpose of serving dairy dishes, and is just another example of how so many practices have unfortunately become commercialized & cheapened nowadays.May 6, 2012 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #1155071
147: I think you’re thinking of Yetziv Pisgam in the Haftarah of the second day. Reading Akdamus during the leining should be a Hefsek.May 6, 2012 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #1155072
Sam2:- I am not confusing Yetziv Pisgom with Akdomus. Not to mention, that Yetziv Pisgom is read after the 2nd verse of the Haftoro, not after the 1st verse.May 6, 2012 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #1155073
I think you’re thinking of Yetziv Pisgam in the Haftarah of the second day. Reading Akdamus during the leining should be a Hefsek.
No, he’s not mistaken. There was an older, alternate minhag to read it after the first pasuk was lained, although I don’t know if I’d say that “many” places still perform it that way.
The WolfMay 6, 2012 8:03 pm at 8:03 pm #1155074
If you’re in Yerushalayim, there’s a minhag (no, not really, just an awesome experience) to walk to the Kosel for Vasikin around 4 am. The thousands upon thousands of people walking in the same direction, the refreshment tents and Petel trucks set up along the way are an unbelievable sight to behold, not to mention obviously davening amongst thousands of other Yidden at the Kosel. Oh, and walking in and out of the old city via Sha’ar Shechem with hundreds of Mir bochurim singing and dancing with a Sefer Torah all the way! It kind of gives one an idea of what Aliya L’Regel might be like….
May we be zoche to walk to the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi for Shavuos!May 7, 2012 2:37 am at 2:37 am #1155075
May we be zoche to walk to the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi for Shavuos! “
Amein!!!May 24, 2012 1:28 am at 1:28 am #1155076
I hope that no-one at an Hotel in Israel for Shovu’os this year, the 1st time in 14 years that on a Motzei Shabbos, is Mevatel the Minhog of cheesecake, because of the directives of the Rabbinate, to serve meat on Shovu’os nite, in an attempt to curtail chances of Chilul Shabbos.May 24, 2012 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #1155077
147: I recall reading about a piyyut to be sung right before dawn al pi chasidei ashkenaz. Do you have any idea what it is or if anyone still keeps it?May 29, 2014 9:26 am at 9:26 am #1155078
Pre-Shavous Bump™June 10, 2016 1:43 am at 1:43 am #1155079
<Bump>June 10, 2016 3:57 am at 3:57 am #1155080
ItcheSrulik: I don’t know what you’re referring to, but in YU they have the minhag (I believe started by Rav Dovid Lifshitz) to sing odeh la’keil right before shacharis. It’s in some bentchers for friday night.June 10, 2016 4:50 am at 4:50 am #1155081
IEHB: I’m guessing that’s what Itche was referring to. I’ve been told it’s quite a sight to behold in YU.June 10, 2016 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #1155082
Sam: I can testify that it is, indeed, quite a sight to behold.June 10, 2016 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #1155083
The aruch hashulchan mentions a minhag to make put saffron in foods on shavuos, because it has a good smell, like torah which is compared to a rei’ach tov. He also brings some lesser-heard but interesting explanations of why we eat dairy on shavuos. For example, we find a remez to this in the rashei teivos of the last three words of the pasuk “????? ???????? ???????? ???? ???? ??’ ??????????” (????? ??,??). Also, another interesting reason:
??? ???? ??? ?? ??? ???? ?????? ?????, ??????? ?????? ????? ????? ?????. ??? ?????? ??? ??????? ???, ????????: ?? ???? ????? ???. ??? ??? ??? ????? ????? ??????.
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