Tag: Jews

Why Dairy on Shavout?

“Like honey and milk [the Torah] lies under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11). Just as milk has the ability to fully sustain the body of a human being (i.e. a nursing baby), so too the Torah provides all the “spiritual nourishment” necessary for the human soul.

#imag1 Seven fascinating reasons behind this popular custom.

Ahhh… the sumptuous delight of blintzes and cheesecake. Eating a dairy meal on Shavuot has become an enduring tradition. But what’s the source for this? Here are six fascinating reasons:

Reason #1

When the Jewish people received the Torah at Mount Sinai, included was special instructions for how to slaughter and prepare meat for eating. Until then, the Jews had not followed these laws, thus all their meat – plus the cooking pots – were now considered “not kosher.” So the only alternative was to eat dairy, which requires no advance preparation.

This raises the question, however: Why didn’t the Jews simply slaughter new animals, “kasher” their pots in boiling water (hagala), and cook fresh meat?

The answer is that the revelation at Sinai occurred on Shabbat, when slaughter and cooking are prohibited.

Another point to clarify: How were the Jews able to obtain milk on Shabbat, since milking an animal falls under the prohibited activity of mefarek?

The answer is that the Jews already had milk available from before Shabbat, which they had been using to feed the various animals that accompanied their journeys in the wilderness.

Reason #2

Torah is likened to milk, as the verse says, “Like honey and milk [the Torah] lies under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11). Just as milk has the ability to fully sustain the body of a human being (i.e. a nursing baby), so too the Torah provides all the “spiritual nourishment” necessary for the human soul.