SAINT AUGUSTINE – In the biblical version of the Story of Ruth, Ruth’s vow is made not to her husband — who is dead — but to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Through her commitment she helps to renew the Jewish people; tradition honors her action by declaring her the grandmother of the great King David. For that reason, when we go to synagogue on Shavuot, we hear the reading of the Book of Ruth, and we renew our commitment to the Torah.
Shavuot, meaning “weeks,” comes exactly seven weeks after Passover. It originated as a harvest festival, but in the period of rabbinic Judaism the focus of the holiday shifted to commemorating the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. Hence the importance of the story of Ruth, a woman who accepted Judaism and its covenant with G-d of her own free will, without having been born into it.
Shavuot is one of the major ancient pilgrimage festivals.
Rabbi Joel Fox will be leading Erev Shavuot service on Saturday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m.. As part of the service, there will be some Torah study. A light repast will be available.
Sunday, June 9 at 10 a.m., Rabbi Fox will lead the first day Shavuot service that will include a Yiskor (memorial) service.
Leading up to Shavuot this coming weekend, there will be regular Shabbat services. Erev Shabbat service will be on Friday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. led by Dr. Robert Gerson. The Shabbat service will be Saturday, June 8 at 10 a.m. led by Robert Schachter.