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Shavuot 
Saturday, June 8, 2019 / 6 Sivan 5779
Light candles for Shavuot at 8:20 p.m.
 
Shavuot, the festival celebrating the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai,  
begins Saturday night at sundown.  
 
Make Havdalah and then light Yizkor candles before lighting Yom Tov candles.
 
border experiment
 
Dear Co ngregation Kehillah and Friends,
Rabbi Sharfman
     
Shavuot starts Saturday night -- the festival celebrating our receiving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Shavuot is not about ritual, but about our core and essential relationship with The Holy One. Here's why:
 
Shavuot, which means 'weeks,' marks the end of the period during which we count the weeks from Passover leading up to Shavuot. Yet, so many of us who would never dream of forgetting about Passover and the seder somehow forget about Shavuot; we remember having been freed from slavery, but we forget the reason for which we were liberated! The answer is found in Shavuot, the holiday celebrating the giving of the Torah, a spiritual event that touches the depths of our souls.
 
'Shavuot' also means oaths; on this day the Holy One swore eternal love to us, and we in turn pledged our love to God. That's why our Sages considered Shavuot to be the wedding of God and the Jewish people; the Torah is like the ketubah (the Jewish wedding contract). Torah can be understood in a narrow or a broad sense. In a narrow sense, Torah is the Five Books of Moses, the source of our laws, teachings and communal story; in a broader sense, it's an ongoing conversation we can choose to have with God as our Creator, Teacher, and loving Partner.
 
In case you're wondering about the status of this 'marriage,' remember that, like any relationship, it's a work in progress and takes time to unfold. The quality of the relationship depends very much on what both partners invest in it! The essence of this covenant with God is not what many would call 'religious' but really is! It's about how we take care of others, and that is how we are asked to show love for God, the Creator of all.
  
A kavannah for Shavuot candle lighting:  
  
Dear God, In my longing for connection, please help me to experience and share love, both human and   Divine. 
  
  
The blessing for Shavuot candle lighting: 
  
Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Yom Tov.
Praised are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who makes us holy through the   commandments and has directed us to kindle the light of the holiday. 
 
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Shavuot traditions include the reading of the Ten Commandments and the Book of Ruth, a beautiful young woman who experiences much hardship in order to follow her spiritual journey and her heart. This 'convert' to Judaism was the great-grandmother of King David and, according to tradition, the line from which the Messiah will come. Home traditions include eating cheese blintzes, cheesecake, etc., symbolic of biblical Israel as flowing with milk and honey....actually, the dairy foods in modern Israel are really good!!!
 
Chag Sameach!
 
Rabbi Sharfman
 
I look forward to sharing our last Kabbalat Shabbat of the season with you on Friday night, June 14. -- RS

Congregation Kehillah
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