Five reasons Shavuot is about more than just cheesecake

9 June 2019

Shavuot is the perfect excuse to eat cheesecake non-stop. This is accepted and encouraged. But the festival – often deemed “cheesecake day” – is actually about more than just this delicious treat.

  1. It’s the festival of giving

Giving cheesecake you ask? Of course. But also, the giving of the Torah by G-d to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai many, many Shavuots ago. Every year we renew this covenant by thinking back to the Ten Commandments and what they mean to us.

  1. An alarming all-nighter

The story goes that the night before the Torah was handed over, the Jewish people were so excited they went to bed early and missed all their alarms – sleeping through a significant moment in our history. It’s now customary to stay up all night studying the Torah so that we demonstrate we’re in control of our bodies and wiser than ever.

  1. Flowers, flowers everywhere

We decorate our homes and synagogues with flowers because Mount Sinai was covered in them when the Torah was given – a true miracle in the desert!

  1. Read all about it

Alongside reading the Torah, The Book of Ruth has become a staple for Shavuot texts. Ruth’s arrival in Israel corresponded closely with the festival of Shavuot and the lessons her book shows about acceptance relate closely to the Jewish people’s acceptance of the Torah. If this wasn’t enough words for what is one of the shortest Jewish festivals, medieval poems such as Akdamut are often recited alongside special poems from the psalms of praise.

  1. What it’s all always about

Every festival (Jewish or not) is a chance to remember where you came from, how you were raised and where in life you are now. The perfect checking in. So whether you’re observing the points listed above, eating some delicious cheesecake or doing nothing at all… take a moment to think about what it all means. We hope this one is sweeter than ever.

And as always…

Happy cheesecake eating!

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