Shavuot 5711/2011

Just wanted to write a quick post letting all of our friends who we might expect to see us in Hudson, WI this week for Shavuot (Pentecost) know that we had to cancel our trip at the last moment due to uncontrollable circumstances. We will miss you all! We hope to have a small gathering of friends here for Shavuot and enjoy celebrate the giving of the Torah together here. Many blessings to you all! May your Shavuot be filled with Simcha (Joy) and the Ruach (Spirit) of our Mighty God!

Shavuot Conference at Beth Immanuel

Today begins this year’s Shavuot conference at Beth Immanuel in Hudson, WI. Outside of Passover, this has been the highlight of our year for the last three years. This year is no exception. We arrived Friday afternoon and were able to enjoy Shabbat with the Beth Immanuel community and some of the people who came early for the conference as well. It’s been great to see familiar faces and experience the unique dynamic of Beth Immanuel, and be challenged by Daniel Lancaster in person.

This Sabbath was extra special in that we got to experience both a Bar Mitzvah and a Bat Mitzvah. It was wonderful for our children to be able to experience this.

Well, tonight starts the conference, and I look forward to everything that will be shared. I’ll try to post every now and again about what’s going on.

Counting the Omer

Invariably our family misses some days Counting the Omer each year. This year we decided to challenge both our family and our community in not missing a single day of Counting the Omer. To aid us in keeping track of this for our family, I have created a wall chart and stickers to cut out and paste (or tape) on to each day as it is counted. I have posted it here for your use. There are two PDF files. The first is the chart and the second is the stickers.

Please let me know if you and your family get some use out of it.

Counting the Omer Chart 2010

Omer stickers

Final Session, Shavuot ’09

I failed to mention the final session of the FFOZ Shavuot ’09 conference, which was taught by Daniel Lancaster. This was probably the biggest “aha!” moment at the conference for most attendees and ended with a long, standing, round of applause.

Daniel took a long, 2-part session to go into great detail and offer up an almost air-tight case for the proper interpretation of the terminology and analogy of the book of Hebrews (particularly chapters 7-10).

He first set his teaching up with three arguments typical of Christian theology & interpretation based on the book of Hebrews. With each of these, he presented the problems associated with such a perspective with an expression with Talmudic sentiments, “This is a difficulty.” Of course, he stated that the goal was to be able to reach the actual Talmudic statement, “There is no difficulty here” (for which he did—at least in my estimation).

He specifically addressed issues such as how to resolve phrases that seem to negate the Mosaic covenant, overthrow the Aaronic priesthood and the belittle the function of the Temple service.

His second part systematically worked through each of these “difficulties” and resolved them to what appears to be great satisfaction. Lord willing, I’ll be cleaning up my notes over the next few days and posting them. However, I believe Daniel is planning on posting a full, 30-page article (I am pretty sure I heard) on this teaching in the next Messiah Journal (which we all eagerly await!).

Thank you FFOZ for all of your hard work and diligent study, and for sharing it with us.