Ask the Rabbi

Question:  Why is it customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot?

Answer:    According to a legend, dairy foods were eaten on Shavuot, the day that the Torah was revealed on Mount Sinai.  When the Israelites returned to their homes after the Torah was revealed, they had little time required to prepare a neat meal.  So hurriedly that put together a dairy meal, and that’s when the tradition began.  A major food dairy food item that is served on Shavuot are blintzes.  Two blintzes are served because they symbolize the two tablets of the Ten Commandments.  The blintzes are made with cheese filling fulfilling the words in the Song of Songs “honey and milk under your lips” (Song of Songs 4:11).  Milk is used to make the cheese filling and honey is sweet and pleasant to the taste.  So too the cheese and the honey are the sweet and pleasant words of the Torah.