Religion & Beliefs

Dairy Beloved

For many of us out there, a Jewish holiday is preceded by a trip to the butcher. It’s often followed by a few days of detox, whose activities includes but are not limited to, hitting the gym, eating lots of … Read More

By / May 11, 2007

For many of us out there, a Jewish holiday is preceded by a trip to the butcher. It’s often followed by a few days of detox, whose activities includes but are not limited to, hitting the gym, eating lots of fruits and veggies and groaning over and over again, “I can’t believe I ate all that meat.”

Now, I’m not one of those people; in fact, quite the opposite. I am more carnivore than omnivore. When I was growing up, my family ate meat ON EVERY HOLIDAY, and that included Shavuot, when most people celebrate the giving of the Torah by eating dairy foods.

This chag, my husband is protesting my love of meat, requesting at least one dairy meal. So, to gear myself up, and just for fun, my personal Top Ten list of why to eat dairy this Shavuot.

10. Cheese costs less than steak

9. Ice cream for dessert (or as an appetizer, whatever your preference)

8. The gematria for the word Halav (milk) is 40. We eat dairy on Shavuot to remember the 40 days Moshe spent on Har Sinai before we received the Torah.

7. Yummy (and easy!) recipes like this one:

This cheesecake can be topped with any flavor of canned pie filling for a finishing touch. INGREDIENTS: 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened 3 Tbsp. lemon juice 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated) 1 9" graham cracker crust PREPARATION: In medium bowl beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk and mix until very well combined. Pour into graham cracker crust and chill. Makes 8 servings

6. In the Torah, Israel is referred to as the “Land of Milk and Honey”—we celebrate receiving the Torah and the promises in it by eating milchig food

5. The Torah itself is compared to milk as, according to some interpretations, it says in Shir Hashirim 4:11: “Like honey and milk [the Torah] lies under your tongue”

4. You finally get to break out the ‘company’ dairy dishes you so wisely registered for

3.  With the giving of the Torah, the Jewish nation became obligated to keep kosher. The Torah, however, was given on Shabbat, so no utensils could be koshered and no animals could be killed. As a result, on that day the Jews ate dairy, and we do so in solidarity with them

2.  Another gematria: Gevinah (cheese) has a value of 70, equivalent to the 70 faces of the Torah

1.  Because you can always eat meat after milk, but do it the other way around and you’ll have to wait a few hours!!!