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Thursday, May 28

The Weekly Shtikle - Shavuos

Not too long ago, the mishnah yomis cycle passed maseches Chulin. The mishnah (Chulin 5:3) discusses a law regarding oso v'es beno, the prohibition against slaughtering both a mother animal and its child on the same day. There are four days of the year on which it is imperative to inform the buyer of an animal if its mother or its child have already been sold for slaughter. The reason is that on these days, it is certain that the animal is being purchased for immediate slaughter. One of these days is the erev Shavuos. There are various reasons given. There was one approach quoted in the Kehati mishnayos which is not sourced but I have been told is the position of Meiri. Since Shavuos is only one day, unlike the other holidays, there was a tendency to give great reverence to the day and make the meals extra special.


Shavuos tends to be downplayed somewhat based on its shorter length. After all, families don't always go to great lengths to spend Shavuos together as they do other yamim tovim. It really is over before you know it. But we see from the earlier generations that on the contrary, Shavuos should be given even more attention for this very reason. Rather than resign ourselves to Shavuos being 1/7 as significant as Sukkos or Pesach, we ought to be striving to somehow "cram" 7 days of a beautiful yom tov experience into one. Each meal, each shemoneh esrei, each hallel should be 7 times as meaningful.


Indeed, Shavuos is the chag of "making the most of it." We have all been in "making the most of it" mode for a couple of months now and many are slowly easing out. In Baltimore, for example, outdoor minyanim have now been sanctioned by the Vaad HaRabbanim. But it is certainly not the same as being back in our shuls with large crowds learning all night. May we all continue to make the most of it, particularly on this yom tov.


Have a chag samei'ach and good Shabbos!


Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: Shavuos takes it on the shin

Dikdukian: Letzeis and On top of Old Smokey

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