Shavuot is the Festival of Weeks – the Festival of the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai. What relevance has food got to do with it?
Obviously a silly question for us Jews, who use any excuse for meeting with family and friends for a celebration, defined by the nourishment of body as well as soul.
But why particularly dairy products: cheese cake, blintzes, knishes and kreplakh? There are a number of possible reasons . . .
- Milk is to the body as Torah is to the Soul
- The giving of the Law was a kind of rebirth
- The Torah promises a land of milk and honey.
- The numerial code for milk (Chalav: Chet(8) lamed(30) vet(2)) is 40 and reminds us that Moses spent 40 days up on Mount Sinai receiving the Torah.
- Or maybe it was just simply that Shavuot occurs at the time of the year when there is a surpus of milk from the goats and sheep that were traveling with the tribe.