Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart
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Monday, 25 May 2009

Dairy Limitations

All right, I know that my female readers (all one of you, it seems) will be upset with what I'm going to say but being a thick-headed male (the best mea culpa you're going to get) I'm going to say it anyways:
Shavuos is not a dairy holiday.
Now let me explain.
Yes, one eats dairy on Shavuos. The well-known custom is based on the idea that after the Jews received the Torah which contained, amongst other things, the requirement to eat meat slaughted by shechitah they returned to their tents and realized all the meat they had was now trief. So dairy was the only option for their first post-matan Torah meal, hence the custom to eat dairy on Shavuos.sons
And yes I know it's not such an old custom and that other reasons are given by the poskim. However, I would like to point out that I now know many people who think that eating dairy on Shavuos means making all the Yom Tov meals milchig and, in my capacity as the Chief Rabbi of Stoney Creek, I would like to rail against this misunderstanding.
If one really wants to observe the custom of eating dairy on Shavuos as it is properly understood, here's what one does. After shul on the morning of the first day one returns home, makes kiddush and then makes a motzi and serves milchig appetizers. One must be very careful to use only one of the two breads at this point. Then one clears the dairy equipment, sets the table for meat and puts out all the meat stuff and after a 1/2 hour break or so the meal is continued with fleishigs using the second loaf of bread.
If this is hard for some folks, then making the first day's lunch milchig is fine but folks, the rest really should be meat. It's still Yom Tov after all.

14 comments:

David said...

"The well-known custom is based on the idea that after the Jews received the Torah which contained ... the requirement to eat meat slaughted by shechitah they returned to their tents and realized all the meat they had was now trief. So dairy was the only option for their first post-matan Torah meal, hence the custom to eat dairy on Shavuos."

Oh, for crying out loud. First, please tell me you don't believe that story (hard to believe that God would have countenanced the waste of that much food-- why no grandfather clause?). Second, if their shechita was no good, then how could their milk have been cholov Yisroel-- wasn't it all produced under the auspices of people who had been eating treif and not keeping the Sabbath? Third, their wine would also be problematic for the same reason. Fourth, I thought we maintained the fiction that these pious people kept the Torah anyhow.

Besides, what's the big deal about a collection of overweight Jews who insist on forcing meat into their gullets on every religious occasion? Would a dairy meal once in a while really be so bad for their souls (or their arteries)? I know, I know... some holy rabbi declared that one could have no simcha without meat and wine, which has led to the amusing spectacle of countless Jews drinking wine they don't even like with overcooked, fatty meat, just to prove how happy they are.

Seriously, I have GOT to find a different religion.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

Calm down, David. It's just a custom and I even noted in the post that it's a relatively late invention. But it's fun to add colour to the holiday, that's all.

David said...

Dammit, if I have to put up with yet another day off from work with no driving, no decent entertainment, a loony-tune tradition of staying up all night (which I've given up on even attempting), and a host of other typical nonsense, I'm damned if I'll have you come and steal my cheese-cake! Does Judaism always have to be about sucking the fun out of everything?

E-Man said...

David, you sound like you hate Judaism a lot. Garnel was just trying to explain what the real custom is if one wants to follow it. I don't even think most Jews do follow this custom anyways. In fact, there are a lot of people that have one milchig meal on all shalosh ragalim. This has nothing to do with custom, just what people like. There is no halacha that says you must have meat. Fish is totally acceptable. You are in the clear.

Garnel Ironheart said...

>Dammit,

Correction: Dammit Jim. Or Spock. Both are fine.

> if I have to put up with yet another day off

Crack out the violins. Don't you work for the government? Man, that's like having every day off!

> from work with no driving,

Going green to help support the environment.

> no decent entertainment,

I won't tell your family you said that.

> a loony-tune tradition of staying up all night

To the tune of "Tomorrow" from Annie: "Espresso, espresso, I love you, espresso, you're always a cup away!"

> I'm damned if I'll have you come and steal my cheese-cake!

Have your cheesecake in good health, and have a wonderful holiday.

David said...

You, too, Garnel. :-)

E-man-- drop by some time. I'd like to give you $ .50, so you can go out and buy yourself a sense of humor. Silly kike.

E-Man said...

Sorry David, I am yet to get acquainted with your sense of humor.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

Go easy on E-man, David. He's young and enthusiastic. We used to be that way once.

David said...

You're right, Garnel-- I can actually remember a time when I more or less thought along the same lines as E-man. It would be entertaining to be around when his emunah disappears into a puff of cognitive dissonance.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Assuming it does. Mine didn't, after all.

Don't make the mistake of failing to recognize different perceptions. You lost your emunah. I feel bad for you but what are you going to do? But it's a mistake to assume that this is a natural thing that will happen eventually to everyone else. Might be that your loss is the aberrant way?

E-Man said...

Why would I lose my emunah? What caused you to lose yours David?

David said...

"Might be that your loss is the aberrant way?"

Maybe; maybe not. One has emunah not because Jewish beliefs makes sense, but rather because, in many instances, it works-- that is, until it doesn't. For me, it stopped. Then, when I considered Judaism's basic assertions (TMS, truth of stories in the Torah, emunas chachamim, etc.), I realized that they ranged from the implausible to the ridiculous. I don't think it's that much of an aberration:

http://www.ujc.org/local_includes/downloads/4983.pdf

Manya Shochet said...

"> a loony-tune tradition of staying up all night

To the tune of "Tomorrow" from Annie: "Espresso, espresso, I love you, espresso, you're always a cup away!"

Dammit, Garnel, you're a DOCTOR! Sleep deprivation isn't just a seasonal minhag with you, it's a way of life.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

Tell me about it. The way I see it, those all-nighters in the ER are good training for Shavuous.

How's the cheese doing, Manya?