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From my Table: Shavuos Edition 5783

My daughters’ school does a masterful job of capturing and commemorating milestones — like the girls receiving their first siddur or Chumash — in a pure and sincere way. My first grader was talking about her Chumash play for weeks, and I was thrilled to once again hear the songs we knew by heart from my older daughters. As expected, it was beautiful…the kind of event that had me biting my lip to hold back the tears.

In the hours after school that day, I watched as my daughter re-performed the songs with sheer exhilaration to anyone who would watch her. “Mommy, we’re going to learn from our Chumash tomorrow!” she said again and again, with the glee of a young child going on an airplane for the first time, or the anticipation of finally receiving a sibling after waiting for a while. It was so real to her.

A few days later, I had the opportunity to talk to her teacher, and I complimented her on the truly moving event. After we shared the nachas, she felt comfortable mentioning some behind the scenes technical difficulties that she thought were so obvious, and I responded with the truth — I didn’t even register them. To me, it was all about my daughter’s moment. In our micro-reality, the macro picture was totally lost on me.

In the desert of mountains, what was small was really so big. If I can hyper-focus on one thing that’s important at a milestone, I can also wrap my head around the idea of Hashem choosing one small mountain for such a monumental event.

Truthfully, what Har Sinai stood for is paradoxical to our current climate of loud, showy, and pretentious standing in for the pure and the real. Maybe our focus on the micro-scale stuff and the small steps we take can help us feel a sense of reward and satisfaction that we don’t often attain.

There are more recipes on my Shavuos wish list than there are on any other Yom Tov. Sometimes I try to sneak in wish list items before the necessities because I know I won’t get to them otherwise, but kids, don’t try this at home. I’m going to think about my daughter with her deliciously sweet simplicity, and try to focus on creating a humble — but at the same time wholesome and rewarding — Yom Tov for my family.

Food Editor, Family Table
Editor in Chief, Kosher.com


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 842)

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