Shavuot – Celebrating a Double Blessing

“Then celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your G-d by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your G-d has given you…” Deut. 16:10

Have you ever really considered this Scripture before? We are to come with an offering – not our tithe, this would be over and above our tithe. I finally got a handle on this and I keep a little tzadaka box in my kitchen window sill. Every quarter I come across goes into the box. I’ve been known to ask for quarters from family and friends from time to time…. Do you realize how many quarters you can come up with in a year? It really works – try it or come up with some plan of your own. Never again will I come to celebrate Shavuot without an offering.

I have a Stone’s Chumash and I see some valuable reading there. It’s NOT Scripture, but greater minds than mine have put a lot of prayer and thought into it and there is much to learn. As long as it conforms to Scripture, I am happy to read and accept it. I found an interesting piece (under V’Yikra (Leviticus) 23 concerning holy convocations: [page 683] BTW = a “holy convocation” is a gathering together of His people to worship Him. You can’t fulfill this mitzvah by staying home – so best you find a place to go and go prepared with an offering!

“The Festivals are days on which the people are “invited” (commanded, actually!) to assemble in prayer and thanksgiving and to celebrate with fine clothing and festive meals……….The purpose of the festivals is spiritual elevation and the special foods and festive clothing are to help people achieve that goal. By giving honor and distinctiveness to the day, we focus our minds on it and thereby foster a realization of the opportunities it offers us, if we but utilize them properly.”

Did you notice that “fine clothing”? How can we come to meet our Master, the King of the universe in less than our best? Let’s dress up and look like we really care about what we are doing! Let’s have a festive meal! We can use our best dishes and serving pieces and go all out with preparation of some extra special recipes for this very special occasion! It does matter.

“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.” Egypt is a symbol of sin. When we were in sin, we were lost and undone. We that have accepted His salvation have escaped the Egypt of sin in our lives and we need to be ever so grateful for our deliverance. So let’s keep His decrees and do our best to follow all that He has to say regarding this very special holy day.

Since the giving of the Torah on Mt Sinai is equivalent to a betrothal, it is “wedding time”! What a wonderful time to dress up, bring an offering, a festive dish and enjoy a wedding atmosphere! We can celebrate two major events – G-d’s special personal Word to us and His gift of the Ruach HaKodesh!

Oh, and do you have any extra quarters?

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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