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Tuesday, June 3

The Weekly Shtikle - Shavuos

I recently happened upon a very interesting, simple point regarding Shavuos which can really change one's entire perspective on the chag. The mishnah (Chulin 5:4) 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 I was not able to source. 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 reason. Rather than resign ourselves to Shavuos being 1/7 as significant as Sukkos or Pesach, we should be striving to somehow "cram" 7 days of a beautfiul yom tov experience into one. Each meal, each shemoneh esrei, each hallel should be 7 times as meaningful. 

Have a good Yom Tov (x7)

Eliezer Bulka

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