The spring brings us to the last major holiday of the year, Shavuot. Shavuot means “weeks.” It is 7 weeks after Passover. It is a week (7) of weeks. Its origin was the beginning of the spring harvest. Later, in the 19th century, German Jews, both Reform and Orthodox, added the ceremony of confirmation to the holiday. Confirmation was created to recognize the education of young girls. Before the advent of Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation was the only recognition of Jewish education for young girls.
Shavuot is also the time for the reading of the Book of Ruth. Shavuot is generally not as observed as Sukkot or Pesach in the general Jewish community. As Bat Mitzvah became more and more common, Shavuot has lost some of its importance.
Sometime closer to Shavuot I plan to share a teaching about the book of Ruth. As we move towards spring and summer, may we have many moments of joy, learning, and celebration.
Rabbi Dan Grossman