Seven weeks (49 days) after the second day of Passover, rejoicing in our people’s exodus out of Egypt, comes Shavuot, the harvest holiday that also celebrates the receiving of Torah at Mount Sinai.

Reading the Book of Ruth, eating dairy foods, decorating our homes with leaves and branches, feeding the poor and learning Torah are just some examples of ways we can mark the holiday. (Some even learn Torah in a Tikkun Leil Shavuot, or All-Night Torah Study for Shavuot).

Whereas the other ancient pilgrimage holidays last seven days (Passover and Sukkot), Shavuot only lasts 1-2 days. What do we learn from this? The rest of the week following the holiday of Shavuot should be devoted to feeding the hungry. We learn the importance of “leaving corners of our fields” for the poor from the Book of Ruth.

To that end, I have two suggestions for celebrating Shavuot this year:

1. Please join our Community-wide celebration, a partnership of Temple Sinai, Temple Emanu-El and Temple Beth Or, to take place at Temple Emanu-El this year, beginning with dinner at 7:30 p.m, Saturday, June 11. Each rabbi will teach on “What is Torah,” we will pray an evening service together and hear the Book of Ruth and discuss it.


2. Attend the Food Bank of Northern Nevada’s Annual “Together We Can Solve Hunger” Concert at Bartley Ranch at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 11 (on Erev Shavuot) with Eli “Paperboy” Reed and a Beatles Flashback Band. All ticket proceeds benefit the Food Bank and this will be a wonderful, fun event for the whole family. One of the programs the ticket sales will benefit is “Meals On Wheels,” which feeds children over the summer, who would normally depend on school meals.

Finally, I want to announce, that in an effort to bring a wonderful Jewish musician to town, and raise some money for a thriving Temple Sinai while we are at it, Purchase Your Tickets Now for a Concert with Sam Glaser, who is coming to Reno on Wednesday, June 29 for a 7:00 p.m. concert to benefit Temple Sinai and Temple Emanu-El at the Atlantis. This is very exciting for a number of reasons- Emanu-El and Sinai teaming up to bring a great Jewish musician, an opportunity to support our Sinai School, the hub of Jewish supplemental education in N. Nevada, and it will be a raucous night of Jewish entertainment for all, families with kids and no kids alike! We look forward to bringing the community together!

Best wishes for a fun, learning-filled, tzedakah-filled summer!

Hope to see you at Shabbat Under the Stars!

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Bair