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What is Shavuot?

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Shavuot from Chabad.orgThe Jewish Holiday Shavuot (shah-voo-oat) starts at sundown on May 18, 2010. So for those of you celebrating Shavuot and participating in the Pennsylvania Primary election, you better get to the polls with enough time to get home by candle lighting at 7:50pm EST (polls are open from 7am to 8pm).  

Shavuot is the holiday of weeks, getting its name from the Hebrew word for week שבועות. Historically, it celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Shavuot also has an agricultural importance as it commemorates the time when fruits are harvested (and brought to the Temple). 

blintzes at The 4th Street DeliOne of the great traditions --because you know how Judaism loves traditions (I can just hear Tevye now)-- for Shavuot is to eat dairy. Why eat dairy? Dairy reminds us of a passage in the beginning of the Torah or Old Testament stating the "land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:8). So what kind of dairy should you serve for a nice Shavuot dinner? Well, the traditional foods (here we go with tradition, again) would include cheese blintzes. If you feel you want to be adventurous in the kitchen and create your own, I'd borrow a page out of Emeril Lagasse's book, because, while not really known for Jewish cooking, Emeril has a mean recipe for Sweet Cheese Blintzes with Apple Butter and you'd be hitting two traditions with one recipe: fruit and dairy! Blintzes are not the easiest thing to whip up, however, so you may want to visit your nearest delicatessen such as The 4th Street Deli, The Kibitz Room or Rachael's Nosheri

 

PHOTOS courtesy of Chabad.org and The 4th Street Deli.