Shavuot Hop – A Midbar Tradition
Since my arrival in 2008, I have cherished the opportunity to continue the tradition of the Shavuot Hop, a progressive dinner organized by Midbar Kodesh Temple for Shavuot. Shavuot, one of the three Pilgrimage Festivals, is often overlooked and less familiar compared to Passover and Sukkot. It typically falls after the completion of public school and religious school for the year. Nonetheless, it holds great significance on our Jewish calendar.
In the Torah, Shavuot is described as an agricultural holiday, marking the culmination of the Spring Harvest that begins around Passover. The Israelites are commanded to present the first fruits of the Spring harvest as an offering to God, enabling them to enjoy the abundance of the harvest.
The rabbis added another dimension to the celebration of Shavuot. According to them, it commemorates the moment when Moses received the Torah on Mount Sinai. Fifty days after their departure from Egypt, the Israelites arrived at the foot of Mount Sinai, prepared to receive the Torah.
To honor the Torah and promote scholarship, a tradition emerged to initiate Shavuot with a night of study and learning. Many choose to stay awake throughout the night, engaging in study sessions.
This year, we will once again host the Shavuot Hop on Thursday evening, May 25th. The event will commence with appetizers at Cantor Gershon's residence at 6 PM. Subsequently, we will proceed to Midbar Kodesh Temple for a delightful dairy dinner. The evening will conclude with dessert at Andrea and Mitch Broth's home. Upon registration, addresses will be provided. Participants have the option to walk or drive to each location. We will not be going all night – we should be done around 9 PM.
The evening will be highlighted by a guest speaker, Shalom Orzach, the senior educator at the Icenter. Shalom will delve into the topic of "Israel at 75: Are We Exhausted or Exhilarated: Reflecting on the Past and Imagining the Future" Shalom will also speak on Shabbat morning, May 27th, which is the second day of Shavuot. He will lead a discussion on the “datelessness” of Shavuot in the Bible.
To register for the Shavuot Hop, kindly click here.