The Torah was given by G‑d to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai more than 3300 years ago. Every year on the holiday of Shavuot we renew our acceptance of G‑d's gift, and G‑d "re-gives" the Torah.
The word Shavuot means "weeks." It marks the completion of the seven-week counting period between Passover and Shavuot.
The giving of the Torah was a far-reaching spiritual event-one that touched the essence of the Jewish soul for all times. Our sages have compared it to a wedding between G‑d and the Jewish people. Shavuot also means "oaths," for on this day G‑d swore eternal devotion to us, and we in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him.
The holiday of Shavuot is a two-day holiday, beginning at sundown of the 5th of Sivan and lasting until nightfall of the 7th of Sivan. (In Israel it is a one-day holiday, ending at nightfall of the 6th of Sivan.)
- Women and girls light holiday candles to usher in the holiday, on both the first and second evenings of the holidays.
- It is customary to stay up all night learning Torah on the first night of Shavuot.
- All men, women and children should go to the synagogue on the first day of Shavuot to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments.
- As on other holidays, special meals are eaten, and no "work" may be performed.
- It is customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot. Among other reasons, this commemorates the fact that upon receiving the Torah, including the kosher laws, the Jewish people could not cook meat in their pots, which had yet to be rendered kosher.
- On the second day of Shavuot, the Yizkor memorial service is recited.
- Some communities read the Book of Ruth publicly, as King David-whose passing occurred on this day-was a descendant of Ruth the Moabite.
Here is a good recipe for Blintzes:
Blintzes are a traditional dish for the holiday of Shavuot. Top with sour cream, apple sauce or cinnamon and sugar.
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. oil
CHEESE FILLING I
1/2 pound farmer cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
4 Tbsps. honey or
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg yolk
CHEESE FILLING II
1 pound cottage cheese,
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsps. flour
2 Tbsps. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla sugar
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
USE: 7 inch skillet
YIELDS: 12 blintzes
BATTER: In a large mixer bowl combine eggs, milk, water and blend well. Gradually add flour, then both sugars, salt and oil. Beat well until there are no lumps in the batter.
FILLING I: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat well. Or combine all the ingredients in a blender container and blend until smooth.
FILLING II: Combine all ingredients, except raisins, in a bowl and beat well. Or all the ingredients can be combined in a blender container and blended until smooth. Then add raisins.
TO ASSEMBLE CREPES:
1. Prepare batter and filling of your choice. Using a paper towel or basting brush, apply a thin coating of oil to a 7 inch skillet. Place skillet over medium heat until skillet is hot but not smoking.
2. Ladle approximately 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet. Tilt pan to swirl the batter so it covers the bottom of the skillet.
3. Fry on one side until small air bubbles form, and top is set. Bottom should be golden brown. When done, carefully loosen edges of crepe and slip out of skillet onto a plate..
4. Repeat the above procedure until all the batter is used. Grease the skillet as needed..
5. Turn each crepe so that golden brown side is up. Place 3 tablespoons of filling on one edge in a 2 1/2 inch long by 1-inch wide mound..
6. Roll once to cover filling. Fold the sides into the center and continue rolling until completely closed..
7. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet and place each crepe seam side down in the skillet and fry 2 minutes on each side, turning once.
VARIATION: Whole wheat pastry flour can be used instead of white flour.
Or you can just buy the ready-made, heat in the skillet blintzes found in your local supermarket. There they have various other types of blintzes: Apple, blueberry and strawberry to name a few.