Celebrate Shavuot on May 29th!
By Carol Hutchison

For the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, which corresponds to May 29th, Chabad invites everyone to join and celebrate the unique gift G‑d gave us with an ice cream party at 11am at Chabad House! Hey, eating ice cream doesn't show gratitude to G‑d for giving us the Torah, you comment. Well, kind of. The custom of eating dairy foods on Shavuot began way back when we first got the Torah 3,320 years ago.
One of the sources for this custom is that the Torah commands us to eat only kosher meat, to slaughter it and remove the blood in a very specific manner. This would be too time consuming to get dinner on the table – and also impossible because the Torah was given on Shabbat when these activities are forbidden by Torah law. Therefore the Jews made do with dairy food.
The program will commence with the special Torah Reading of the Ten Commandments – “to reenact the Sinai experience” explained Rabbi Mendel Katzman, director of Chabad of Nebraska. “Our festivals do not merely mark events of the past. We are enjoined to relive the historic occasions and making them relevant and meaningful today.”
The dairy luncheon menu on May 29th at the ice cream party will include saucy lasagna, cheese blintzes, linguine, gourmet salads and home made cheesecake! There will also be plenty to eat for the lactose intolerant. The feasting and partying will be highlighted by the children taking center stage under the tallit to hear to Ten Commandments being read. The children await this honor all year. Children who have been studying Torah in anticipation of receiving the Torah will get a special recognition. Lauren Kirk, age 7, has been studying the weekly Parsha for some time now and "can't wait for the ice cream party!" when she will receive the Torah again and eat some yummy food.
Katzman encourages everyone to learn from the kids. He said, "We would all accomplish so much more and find the time to study some Torah if we adapted some of the childish eagerness to utilize the present moment to its fullest, instead of delaying important goals for some imaginary future. On Shavuot, we celebrate the children's commitment to G‑d as the guarantor for His Torah." The children will have the opportunity to create an edible craft and participate in holiday activities.
The program is free and open to the public. Reservations are appreciated but not required. Please call Carol at 330-1800 or email ChabadOffice@cox.net to reserve.