Despite popular belief, Shavuot is not the festival of ice cream and cheesecake. It is a celebration of the receiving of the Torah.
Last night at dinner, my husband shared a beautiful Dvar Torah he heard from Rabbi Grunstein (it was really nice to see you, Rabbi).
"Why are there no mitzvot for Shavuot?" my husband began. Cohava quickly interrupted and explained how eating dairy, having a tikkun leil, and decorating with flowers are mitzvot. My husband paused the Dvar Torah to explain how those are all beautiful minhagim, but none are mitzvot. Then he continued. "Shavuot is really important. The Torah is the most important thing in the world. But there are no mitzvot and the chag is only for a day or two. Compare that with the other shalosh regalim. Pesach and Sukkot are each 7 or 8 eight days long, and they have important mitzvot with them. We get rid of all of the chametz. We have seder.We eat matza. Do we do those things after Pesach is over? No. We spend the month leading up to it and 8 days on it, and we don't think about Pesach until the next year. The same is true with Sukkot. We build the sukkah. We get the 4 minim. We dwell in the sukkah for the chag. And then we take it down and don't think about it until next year."
So far the words of Torah were simple enough for the girls to understand. Cohava's brow was furrowed in concentration.
"That isn't fair to Shavuot," Gabi remarked.
"How should we celebrate Hashem giving us the Torah?" my husband asked.
"By learning it!"
"And loving it!"
"Should it be for only one or two, or seven or eight days?" he continued.
"Everyday and every night we learn Torah. Hashem didn't want people to think that learning Torah was only for Shavuot like lulav and etrog are only for Sukkot. Shavuot is a holiday to celebrate receiving the Torah, but the mitzva of the loving and learning the Torah is for every single day," he concluded.
Since Shavuot is about Matan Torah, so is the project. I showed the girls what we did for Yitro . What they remembered most was not liking the mint icing on Har Sinai. (It was delicious, like a thin mint cookie cake, but whatever.)
So this time we are only making chocolate "chip" luchot biscuits.
I used this base recipe for dough because I prefer not using margarine/shortening. Because I was worried the cookies wouldn't hold shape, I added a box of instant pudding mix. We only had chocolate on hand, so the dough is darker than ideal.