This Saturday night is the festival of Shavuot. In Israel it is one day and in the diaspora it is two days. It is observed on the 50th day after the second day of Passover. People have a custom to eat dairy foods as the Jews didn’t have time to learn and practice the laws of slaughtering and koshering meat so they just ate dairy. The Torah and Israel is also compared to milk. However, as with any festival one should also eat meat to commemorate the animals the Jews offered when making the pilgrimage to the Temple.
Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai 3327 years ago. However, the Torah does not specify the actual date it was given. We only know that it was 50 days after the second night of Passover. Why doesn’t Shavuot have its own specified date? Why is it dependent on the occurrence of Passover? Surely, the giving of the Torah, the climax of our travels in the desert, the contract that defines our existence and destiny should be as important if not more so than the Exodus from Egypt. This is to teach us that the Torah should always be incorporated into our lives new and fresh everyday. While the Torah was given on one specific day in history it is not explicitly defined because the acceptance of the Torah occurs every day when we consciously decide to continue living as Jews. The laws of the Torah exist as a conduit through which we may renew and strengthen ourselves. We may do this by setting aside time to study. Today there are so many commentaries and analyses in English; surely we can all find a topic that perks our interest.