Congregation Etz Chaim of DuPage County

Shavuot Today

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 12:00am -- Rabbi Cosnowsky


If we were a traditional congregation, we would have services on Passover and read from the Scroll of Song of Songs, which is the Haftarah portion traditionally read on Passover, one of the three pilgrimage holidays. Seven weeks later, on another pilgrimage holiday, we would read the Haftarah portion from the Scroll of the Book of Ruth.

Both are separate books, separate stories, written years apart, and yet, they are connected by the two holidays which are connected through folklore and tradition. Passover celebrates our redemption from the bondage of Egyptian slavery. Shavuot marks the time 49 days later when the Israelites were purported to have been given the Torah at Mt. Sinai. And yet, that seems to be where the similarities stop. The story marks the time of the 'honeymoon' phase of the love between God and Israel and the honeymoon ends when? When the Israelites 'betray' God by building the golden calf while they wait for Moses to arrive back from Mt. Sinai.
This year, we are going to look at both scrolls, the Songs of Songs as well as the Book of Ruth, to see the connection - to see the love that we are allegorically to have with God. And from studying these texts, we can learn about our own relationships, how to treat others more dearly and to connect with them in a deeper manner. And in this way, we can deepen our connection to the holiday of Shavuot and see how this ancient holiday still has relevance in our lives.

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