by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
In a few days we will celebrate the Festival of Shavuos - the anniversary of the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. The Divine revelation on Mt. Sinai was the most dramatic and spectacular event of Jewish history - the experience that defined us as the Jewish nation. Every year, through the celebration of this festival we reconnect once again to the power of this event.
One of the customs of this holiday is to eat dairy products, like cheesecake and blintzes. One of the many reasons given for this custom is that milk is the food of infants.
When babies are born and begin to grow they are given a clean start. There is no previous baggage and no preconceived assumptions. With innocence and purity they grow rapidly, exploring every possibility and experimenting with new experiences.
Every year on Shavuos we reconnect to the Sinai experience and receive the Torah once again. The wisdom, guidance and direction of the Torah gives us the opportunity to develop and grow spiritually, emotionally and in all other ways. But our growth is often affected by previous negative experiences of failure, stress, conflict and trauma.
So as part of the celebration we eat baby food. We give ourselves the possibility of discarding all previous negativity. We allow the baby-like innocence and purity to emerge once again, developing a desire to learn new concepts and explore deeper insights. We allow ourselves to be open to Divine guidance and direction, communicated through the teachings of the Torah. We create a platform for real growth without any interference from the past.
Enjoy the cheesecake and the lesson it teaches us.