What special name is assigned to the Shabbos before Shavuos? What lesson do we derive from the custom of eating dairy foods on Shavuos? Why is it critical to remember the Giving of the Torah every day of the year? Why do we read Megillas Rus on the second day of Shavuos?
Of the three major festivals, Shavuos is distinctly different. It is different in duration-just one day of celebration, instead of seven. It is different in action-no specific mitzvos are associated with this day. Most significant of all, it is different in purpose. For while Pesach and Succos recall the past, celebrating the Exodus and Hashem's special care of His people, Shavuos celebrates an ongoing event: the receiving of the Torah. For as our sages tell us, the Torah should always seem new to us-as if we received it afresh every single day. And while Shavuos may not have a specific mitzvh associated with it, it is rich in a variety of customs. Dairy foods, learning through the night, decorating with flower and greenery-Shavuos is marked by customs as no holiday is. The minhagei Yisrael, the customs of our ancestors, are not to be trivialized. Shavuos teaches us the importance of keeping every detail of our mesorah. As the Rambam tells us in Igerres Taimon, it is vitally important to remember the great event of the Giving of the Torah-and to vividly relate this event to our children. For it is fundamental to our faith! It is a mitzvah to recall this event on Shavuos-and on every single day of the year.
Shavuos Secrets is an essential tool in this task. Discover the Yom Tov of Shavuos, and celebrate anew the Giving of the Torah.
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