Shavuot (Christians call it Pentecost) is sort of the forgotten holiday. It is not mystical and storied like Passover. It is not outdoorsy and decorative like Sukkot (Tabernacles). It is only one day (traditionally two in the diaspora) and not seven like the other two pilgrim feasts. Its main observances are more suited to a temple festival than home observance (although some of the traditional customs are in fact very suited to home observance).
I will have plenty to say about Shavuot as we continue through the counting of the omer (we’re on day 4 and count day 5 tonight).
But for now, I want to mention a great book I found about Shavuot. The book is out of print though you can find it used on amazon and other places. It is called The Shavuot Anthology and it is part of a series by Philip Goodman. I got mine used from amazon last week and have on order from an ebay store Goodman’s Rosh HaShanah Anthology and Yom Kippur Anthology.
What is so great about these books?
They contain in organized form not only the laws of Shavuot and the other holidays, but also readings from post-biblical literature, rabbinic literature, recipes, children’s stories, poetry, literary references, the customs of Jews from different lands, jokes, family projects, and so on.
I don’t mean this book has a dozen or so in each category. It has oodles in each category, coming in at a whopping 369 pages. That’s a lot about Shavuot, the often forgotten holiday.
Where else can you read the laws of Shavuot and also find a recipe for cheese strudel and a short story called “Shavuot” by Charlotte Bronstein?
Holiday lovers, hurry and order, because there are only 8 available on amazon.