Shavuot is perhaps the most misunderstood of the chagim. In a world bereft of the Beit Hamikdash, it has no specific Torah mandated rituals, and therefore the chag is primarily centred around the celebration of Matan Torah – the greatest revelation in history – the giving of the Torah by Hashem to His special nation Bnei Yisrael.
The Gemorah teaches us that Shavuot – in addition to being the celebration of Torah – is the day on which we are judged for ‘peirot ha’ilan’ the fruit of the trees.
The Slonimer Rebbe explains that the connection between Matan Torah and the fruit of the trees is highlighted in the Torah verse ‘man is the tree of the field’. The fruit of the trees that are referred to on Shavuot are the spiritual endeavours that we engage in throughout the year. On Shavuot we are given the opportunity to work hard on our Torah learning, and in that way reconnect to our essence and our source of growth and inspiration.
It is this reconnection that is reminiscent of the ‘mincha chadasha’ the new offering of two loaves of bread that were brought during the times if the Beit Hamikdash.
It is our renewed commitment, the fresh approach, that comes from the hard work during the night of Shavuot, that is the merit for the positive and blessed outcome of the chag of Shavuot.
Enjoy the Torah (and the cheesecakes). Wishing everyone a chag sameach!