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Eating Dairy Foods

Eating Dairy Foods

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It is customary to eat dairy foods on the first day of Shavuot. There are a number of reasons for this custom. Here are a few:

  • On the holiday of Shavuot, a two-loaf bread offering was brought in the Temple. To commemorate this, we eat two meals on Shavuot—first a dairy meal, and then, after a short break, we eat the traditional holiday meat meal.
  • With the giving of the Torah, the Jews became obligated to observe the kosher laws. As the Torah was given on Shabbat, no cattle could be slaughtered nor could utensils be koshered, and thus on that day they ate dairy.
  • The Torah is likened to nourishing milk. Also, the Hebrew word for milk is chalav, and when the numerical values of each of the letters in the word chalav are added together—8 + 30 + 2—the total is forty. Forty is the number of days Moses spent on Mount Sinai when receiving the Torah.
  • When Moses ascended Mount Sinai, the angels urged G‑d to reconsider His decision to give His most precious Torah to earthly beings. “Bestow Your majesty upon the heavens . . . What is man that You should remember him, and the son of man that You should be mindful of him?” (Psalms 8:2–4). One of the reasons why the angels’ request went unheeded is because of the Jews’ meticulous adherence to the laws of the Torah—including the kosher laws. Not so the angels, who when visiting Abraham consumed butter and milk together with meat (Genesis 18:8). On Shavuot we therefore eat dairy products and then take a break before eating meat—in order to demonstrate our commitment to this mitzvah.

Click here for traditional Shavuot dairy recipes

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Discussion (21)
May 17, 2013
Sambusak Recipe
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperatures
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup sesame seeds
Cheese Filing:
1-1/2 pounds Muenster cheese, grated
3 lightly beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups sesame seeds
Pastry Dough:
Combine flour and salt. In a separate bowl cream butter with a mixer. Alternately blend in the flour mixture and water. When dough begins to come together, knead until it forms a ball. Set dough ball aside to rest and prepare filling

Place 1 teaspoon of filing in the center of the round and fold dough in half so edges meet. Tightly crimp edges. Repeat until dough and filling are used up. Place 1/2 cup of sesame seeds on a plate, to dip each sambusak in on each side. Place on ungreased baking sheets for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F.
Tim Upham
Tum Tum, WA
May 16, 2013
sambusak
Tim Upham
do you have the recipe for sumbusak?
Joe S.
Va., Ca.
jewishsolano.com
May 14, 2013
dairy ?
Heading for 76yrs,at last I have had the good fortune of reading Hulda Clarke's A Cure for all diseases.,and in her book she recommends bring raw milk to gentle boil to kill off some parasites.Having done this and enjoyed drinking the hot milk I noticed my fingernails growing strongly.Wow. Thanks Hulda!
Anonymous
australia
May 14, 2013
Sambusak For Shavuot
I make sambusak, a savory Sephardic cheese pastry. It is made with muenster cheese, so Ashkenazim should like it too.
Tim Upham
Tum Tum, WA
May 28, 2012
Men and angels
Getting away from the whole dairy thing - a piece of cheesecake is not lethal - I take issue with the idea of men being more holy than the angels. The angels never fashioned a golden calf to worship but men 'with the meticulous adherence to kosher law' I think may have done. Shavuot may emphasize the importance of each individual but let's not get carried away.
Sidney Wilson
May 23, 2012
Even on Shabbat?
Is dairy only eaten on the first day of Shavuot even when it falls out on Shabbat?
Anonymous
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 22, 2012
Veet Vivarto
It's easy to to delegitimize others' opinions by calling them old wives' tales.

I'm not fond of the so-called "scientific" studies funded mostly by the food and pharmaceutical industries. I'd rather follow the traditions of my family.

Devra Davis, PhD, who once was the director of the Center for Environmental Oncology of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, has many eye-opening books on this very same issue. Trends in Cancer Mortality in Industrial Countries and The Secret History of the War on Cancer" just to name a few.

French and Italian cuisines are full of cheese, butter, cream and milk, yet they have fewer cardiovascular disorders than most Americans, who claim to lead a healthy life with their low fat but overly sweet protein shakes and breakfast cereals. I have yet to see an obese French or an Italian with gluten issues.

I wish we all could see the direct effects of food on our bodies, but G-D keeps this as a mystery like many others things in this World.
S Sanchez
Los Angeles, CA
May 21, 2012
Repeating old fallacies
Sanchez,

You are repeating old wives tales:
We have all heard the stories about how good dairy is, and how yogurt supposedly has beneficial bacteria. Unfortunately these are all lies.

Every part of dairy is bad for you:
The lactose, the milk fat, and the milk protein.

The above statement is based on countless population studies and on controlled experiments. The biggest of them is "China Study".

Dairy causes cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, arthritis and 800 other diseases.
Diabetes type 2 is caused by too much fat in diet, while diabetes type 1 is caused by destruction of pancreas through auto-immune reaction to cow milk.

Yogurt has ZERO benefit. The bacteria in yogurt are acidophilis bulgaricus, they cannot live inside human body. The natural bacteria in healthy human colon is acidophilis bifidus.

Stop spreading your ignorance.

As for soy, it is unnecessary. It can be harmful to some people, but not nearly as much as milk.
veet vivarto
Kapaa, HI
jewishkauai.org
May 20, 2012
To Veet Vivarto from Hawaii
Diary is healthy. Cow milk, cheese, yogurt are all good for our health. Particularly plain yogurt can fix all intestinal problems thanks to its probiotic cultures. Some cannot digest milk well but that is due to other health problems (like some has allergy to WATER).

Unfortunately the big food companies keep on manipulating the public to sell more and more soy products not because it's healthy but it's very easy to produce and brings much higher profit than producing and selling diary products.

And finally, It is not diary, it's sugar that causes diabetes, however no one wants to accept the obvious.

I recommend you to check out the www.westonaprice.org for more information on how to live healthily.
S Sanchez
Los Angeles, California
June 7, 2011
May the enemies of the Jew all eat dairy products
The harmful effect of dairy is no limited to its lactose content.
The chunks of the dairy protein (peptides) entering the blood stream are confusing the immune system. The antibodies created against those dairy peptides attack various tissues in the body leading to autoimmune diseases, diabetes type 1 and cancer.
The dairy fat blocks the intake of insulin by the cells and causes diabetes type 2.
Dairy is responsible for 800 disease caused by dairy.
If you love the Jewish people, tell all your fellow Jews to stay away from dairy products.
I pray that our Arab/Muslim enemies all eat dairy; may they all grow fat, get diabetes, heart diseases, strokes, arthritis, lupus, may, and may they all suffer from impotence, due to clogging of the arteries leading to their erectile tissues!
May the Jewish people be smart enough to stay away from that poison!`
Veet Vivarto
Kapaa, Hawaii
jewishkauai.org
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