A way with curds

By Denise Phillips, May 13, 2010

Like most Jewish holidays, Shavuot is known by a variety of names: the Feast of Weeks, the Festival of Giving of the Torah, and, more recently, the Cheesecake Festival.


Shavuot leaves me feeling sour

By Simon Round, May 6, 2010

It's rare that I write a column about anything to do with religion. Sure, I've got an O Level in religious studies and went to Hebrew classes about twice a month (the other two Sundays I would bunk off to the park with my brother), but there are people better qualified than I am to talk intelligently about Judaism.


Shavuot, the perfect time to revisit barley

By Ruth Joseph, May 28, 2009

As a reader I’ve always been captivated by good narrative, and surely one of the most beautiful romances occurs in the Bible between Ruth the convert and Boaz. She is always pictured gleaning the barley harvest — Boaz tells his young men to leave her some full sheaves and at the end of the day she has all the barley she needs. And the story of Shavuot continues.


Tikkun Leil Shavuot

By Rabbi Julian Sinclair, May 28, 2009

The 16th century kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria, known as the Ari — a Hebrew acronym for the “Godly Rabbi Isaac” — established the custom of learning Torah all night on the Shavuot eve. A tikkun is a correction. In kabbalistic circles it refers to a spiritual correction for some fault. There are several types of tikkunim.


A Shavuot mystery: the angels with four faces

By Mordechai Beck, May 28, 2009

The opening chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, with its mysterious image of a heavenly chariot of four-faced creatures, is read as the haftarah on the first day of Shavuot. But the reason is not immediately apparent.


Shavuot - the cream of all the festivals

By Denise Phillips, May 21, 2009

Shavuot is a festival with several names — Festival of Weeks, Festival of The Giving of the Torah, and for some, the Cheesecake Festival!

All Jewish festivals have symbolic foods and Shavuot is no exception. But why have dairy foods become synonymous with Shavuot?


Chag Habikurim

By Rabbi Julian Sinclair, November 4, 2008

Chag Habikurim is the least well-known of the names of Shavuot (after Chag Hacheesecake etc). It refers to the offering of the first fruits that farmers in the Land of Israel brought to the Temple in Jerusalem in early summer at around the time of the Shavuot holiday. The word bikurim itself is related to bechor, a firstborn son.