CELEBRATING THE JEWISH YEAR...SHAVUOT
Shavuot is a Hebrew word meaning "weeks" and refers to the Jewish festival marking the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Shavuot, like so many other Jewish holidays began as an ancient agricultural festival, marking the end of the spring barley harvest and the beginning of the summer wheat harvest. Shavuot was distinguished in ancients times by bringing crop offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem.
Shavuot, also known as the Festival of the Giving of the Torah, dates from biblical times, and helps to explain the holiday's name, "Weeks". The Torah tell us it took precisely forty-nine days for our ancestors to travel from Egypt to the foot of Mount Sinai (the same number of days as the Counting of the Omer) where they were to receive the Torah. Thus, Leviticus 23:21 commands: "And you shall proclaim that day (the fiftieth day) to be holy convocation!" The name Shavuot, "Weeks", then symbolizes the completion of a seven-week journey.
Special customs on Shavuot are the reading of the Book of Ruth, which reminds us that we too can find a continual source of blessing in our tradition. Another tradition includes staying up all night to study Torah and Mishnah, a custom called Tikkun Leil Shavuot, which symbolizes our commitment to the Torah, and that we are always ready and awake to receive the Torah. Traditionally, dairy dishes are served on this holiday to symboize the sweetness of the Torah, as well as the "land of milk and honey".
Shavuot is celebrated this year on May 15
TRADITIONS ON WHEELS®:
Lets celebrate our Jewish traditions together! This charming pushcart program is licensed to the JCC and provides the “vehicle” for enjoyable, informal, interactive, multi sensory activities. The pushcart will visit our lobby and a variety of departments throughout the year, presenting programs for High Holidays, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah and Shabbat. (In the winter and spring, it will provide enriching programs for Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Passover, Yom Ha’atzmaut and Shavuot.) Components may include traditional food, music, background information, useful handouts, activities for adults and children, suggestions for celebrating the holidays as a community or at home, and much more. There is no charge for these programs. Watch for information in the JCC CenterNews throughout the year, and plan to join us!
Delicious, kosher Shabbat challah is available every Friday from September through mid-June, sponsored by the Early Childhood Department.
The braided challah is the Jewish Sabbath-and holiday-bread. Challah is made in various sizes and shapes, all of which have a meaning. Braided ones, which may have three, four, or six strands, are the most common, and because they look like arms intertwined, symbolize love. Three braids symbolize truth, peace and justice. MyJewishLearning.com
Be sure to place your order with the front desk staff by noon on Thursday - payment due with order.
Stop by the lobby for our Community Candle Lighting at 4 PM weekday evenings beginning Monday, December 10 during Hanukkah.
Please join us as the JCC celebrates Shabbat on Friday, December 14 at 4 PM! Together we will light the Hanukkah and Shabbat candles, sing the blessings, play Hanukkah games, and enjoy Hanukkah refreshments.
The CenterNewsfor more information
Questions? Email Wendy Wong, Judaic Educator email@example.com
Congregation B’nai Shalom
Temple Emanuel (Reform)
Congregation Beth Israel (Conservative)
Congregation Beth Tikvah(Conservative)
Congregation Beth Judah, Young Israel of Worcester (Orthodox)
Shaarai Torah West Synagogue (Orthodox)
Yeshiva Tifereth Israel/Sons of Jacob (Orthodox, Chabad)
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION:
Bet Shalom House
Jewish Chronical Leader - Newspaper
Federation of Central Massachusetts
508-799-7600, Food Pick Up Line