Rabbi-Educator's Message: May 2015

Rabbi Joe Eiduson
Joe Eiduson,

Confirmation and Shavuot on May 23

Shavuot has always been one of the most important days in the Jewish calendar. In earliest times, it was an agricultural holiday in honor of the harvest. During the centuries that the Temple stood in Jerusalem, Shavuot became a pilgrimage festival along with Sukkot and Pesach. These three Holy Days are called the Shalosh Regalim and were occasions of special offerings and worship.

After the destruction of the Second Temple (70 C.E.) Shavuot took on a new interpretation. It became known as Zeman Mattan Toratenu, the Anniversary of the Giving of our Torah. The ancient Rabbis focused on a second meaning of the word Shavuot, that of "oaths," especially the oath of the Jewish People to uphold the covenant sworn at Mount Sinai. To uphold that sacred oath, it is appropriate, therefore, that we have chosen the occasion of Shavuot to celebrate the academic achievements of our 10th grade Confirmation Class. Our congregation will celebrate Confirmation which will occur on the eve of Shavuot on Saturday, May 23rd at 7:00 p.m. The Confirmation/Shavuot creative service will be led by our Confirmands and will be followed by an Oneg Chag provided by the parents of our 9th grade class in honor of our 10th graders.

Welcoming our Confirmands into the Congregation is an inspiring moment not only for friends and family, but for all members of Congregation B'nai Shalom. Just as our ancestors presented their first fruits at the Temple on Shavuot, the members of the Confirmation class present themselves as Jews ready to affirm their adult religious commitments. The tradition of Confirmation is a unique expression of our Reform heritage. We look forward to celebrating Shavuot with you!

Rabbi Joe Eiduson