Since Pesach, we’ve been counting; when that count gets to 49 days, or 7 weeks, it’s time to celebrate Shavuot. Whether you see Shavuot as the festival of first fruits, of revelation, or of cheesecake, after counting daily for so long it can be a relief to make it to the end – yet we know that other counts continue. Some are heart-breaking: since before Pesach, we’ve been counting the days and weeks of open conflict in Ukraine. Some are joyful: after Shavuot, another three weeks will take us to the Movement for Reform Judaism’s 80th birthday Shabbat.
While Torah may have been given to the Israelites gathered at Sinai, the task of receiving it is one for each of us every day. Thankfully we don’t only do it alone: Reform communities will come together at Shavuot with prayer, study and food, to remember how we once stood at Sinai and to celebrate Torah as it enters our lives today.
From Sinai, the Israelites continued their journey towards the promised land; from Shavuot, our journey also continues towards building our own Jewish lives and a creating a world inspired by the values we learn from Torah. At Shavuot, we’re reminded that Torah belongs to each of us, in all our rich variety: what better time to recommit to Jewish learning, to help us take on the challenge of making every day count!
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