Shavuot are we ready!
What have we done. The last 7 weeks we have been working on ourselves (counting the Omer) to be spiritually ready to receive the greatest gift to the Jewish people ever. Everyday we have been working on fine tuning ourselves just right. We have waited and waited and the time has finally come for us to get the Torah. Not as individuals, but as a collective unit. We all will receive the Torah this Sunday again just as or Neshamas received it over 3000 years ago.
So what does this have to do with making cheese? Great question.
As we all know there is a minhag to have a dairy meal during the holiday of Shavuot. My family has only dairy meals and I make a lot of cheese for this one day holiday here in Israel. This year I made Spicy Mozzarella, Ricotta (my wife makes the best lasagna), Halloumi (without mint) Fresh Feta, and Caerphilly. Yep, all of those for our festive meals.
I gave a workshop the other night and the one thing that many people want to know is does it take a long time. Well the answer is sort of yes. What I mean to say is that the preparation of making the cheese does take time, just like making sour dough bread. You are creating a new thing out of something that was already there. We need to warm it up, and let it get ready to change into something that is worth eating and this can take time. But the final product is what you had in mind and the taste is what you were looking for. In the end the time invested was well worth it.
I thought that this was very much in sync with what Hashem had in mind when he took us out of Egypt so many years ago. The journey was long and hard. But we were not just going on a tour, we were going through a change. A change that was needed in order for us to be who we are , Am Yisrael a nation that needed to become warm in order to receive the Torah. That is one of the reasons that Amalek attacked us. We were getting to warm, wewere getting fired up about the Torah.
Today is no different, in the Alter Rebbe’s siddur we are told to remember leaving Egypt every day. We need to remember that everyday is a new day with new challenges, but we have the strength to go on and by learning a bit of Torah everyday we are renewing our connection with not only Hashem but his world. We can become warm again and make the changes that are needed to make this a better place all.
Since the second night of Pesach until tonight, we have been counting the Omer, refining ourselves, becoming warm for the reception of the biggest light ever given. This has been happening daily and we are finally ready, each and everyone of us to receive the Torah. Like the making of cheese (L’havdil) we are already here. But everyday we need to change in order to become great. Yes, it does take time.
Wishing all of you
Chag Shavuot Semach
May you receive the Torah with Simcha and Pinyumut.