Counting the Moments

Counting the Moments

May 14, 2021 By Shuly Rubin Schwartz | Commentary | Shavuot

Among the many ways that the pandemic has impacted us this past year has been our relationship to the passage of time. On the one hand, time felt like a blur, with one day bleeding into another. Save for Shabbat, each day looked like the day before and the day after. We wore the same clothes and interacted face-to-face with the same few people in our pods. We sharply curtailed, cancelled, or postponed the life-cycle celebrations, sporting events, live performances, and travel that would normally punctuate our year. Our lives constricted dramatically, as did our hopes and dreams, and even if we were fortunate enough not to suffer illness, death, or job loss, many of us experienced a sense of monotony or diminishment.

Read More
The Ten Commandments in 20/20

The Ten Commandments in 20/20

May 26, 2020 By Eliezer B. Diamond | Public Event video | Video Lecture | Shavuot

The Ten Commandments, read on the first day of Shavuot, are a foundational text of Judaism. But their prominence is also a puzzle. Why were these statements singled out from all other mitzvot to be publicly proclaimed to all Israel? What gives these brief pronouncements their distinctive significance?

Read More
Ruth’s Torah Matters Now

Ruth’s Torah Matters Now

May 28, 2020 By Amy Kalmanofsky | Commentary | Shavuot

Like every Jewish holiday, Shavuot has seasonal and historical components. It celebrates the gifts of Torah and of the spring harvest. Both bounties manifest God’s glory, sustain Israel, and are captured masterfully by our liturgy. 

Read More
Counting the Omer, Counting our Blessings

Counting the Omer, Counting our Blessings

Apr 23, 2020 By Matthew Berkowitz | Shavuot

Read More
Counting the Omer, Counting our Blessings

Counting the Omer, Counting our Blessings

Apr 23, 2020 By Matthew Berkowitz | Shavuot

Read More
Counting Ourselves As Israel

Counting Ourselves As Israel

Jun 7, 2019 By Leonard A. Sharzer | Commentary | Bemidbar | Shavuot

Sefer Bemidbar, the Book of Numbers, which we begin reading this week, opens with the taking of a census. After the rather arcane matters we have been reading about in recent weeks—the sacrificial cult, laws of purity and impurity, skin eruptions, bodily discharges, and so on—the monotony and repetitiveness of this week’s parashah comes almost as a relief.

Read More
Cantillation for Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Ruth

Cantillation for Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Ruth

Oct 23, 2018 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Prayer Recordings | Pesah | Shavuot | Sukkot

Recordings by Cantor Sarah Levine (CS ’17).

Read More
Making Torah Our Own

Making Torah Our Own

May 18, 2018 By Galeet Dardashti | Commentary | Text Study | Shavuot

The piyyut below was written by Rabbi Ya’akov Abihatzeira, an important religious figure in 19th-century Morocco. Sung in Moroccan communities primarily in honor of Shavuot, the piyyut portrays the Israelites’ acceptance of the Torah at Sinai. It depicts God as the beloved bridegroom entering into a figurative marriage with Israel, the bride, and playfully riffs on the Ten Commandments.

Read More
Overcoming Sleep

Overcoming Sleep

May 3, 2018 By Jeremy Tabick | Short Video | Shavuot

Why should we stay up all night on Shavuot?

featuring Leora Perkins (RS ’19)

Read More
Shavuot Resources

Shavuot Resources

May 26, 2020 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Collected Resources | Shavuot

A curated listing of Shavuot resources on JTS Torah Online

Read More