Monday, June 16, 2008

A Guest post by Modeh B'Miktsas

Since this is a torah post, I will make an effort to avoid "yeshivish"in favor of clarity except for simple phrases.

Everyone has heard about sh'vuos being the holiday commemorating thegiving of the torah. However the Torah itself gives no date for mattan Torah.We only know that it coincided with sh'vuos by counting the days from when they arrived at Mount Sinai until the event (Rashi to Sh'mos 19:1 does it for you.)
The reason given for the holiday of sh'vuos both places it is mentioned in chumash is "so that you should be happy with all the good that Hashem your god has given you." (Parshat Re'eh) And "So that you should be happy with the land" (Emor)

It appears that far from being a holiday of high spirituality and transcendence, sh'vuos is meant as a festival of gashmius, or physicalityon which we praise Hashem for success in our livelihoods (ahem kollel but that's another story)

When I contacted DB about writing this post for his blog instead of my dormant one, he asked if I had any idea as to why it's two days even though we could theoretically count from Pesach. Here are 3 answers:

Lo plug (feel free to debate whether that's an answer or an evasion, I'd go with the latter)We do count from Pesach but since Pesach has a sfeka d'yoma, we count each day of sh'vuos from each day of Pesach.We don't assume people will remember to count (Pesach has 2 days even though erev Pesach is one month after Purim) Don't hesitate to complain about lack of specific references or anything else.

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