Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Cheesecake Festival

Guess what? It's the cheesecake festival - Shavuot. (Also known as cheese blintz festival, ice-cream festival and whipped cream my family anyway).

This is what I was listening to 35 years ago as I celebrated Shavuot:

The 1st song's chorus is "Only this, and no more, I can do without all of the rest," and each stanza describes a wish, e.g. "That this festival will be happy," "That everything will be the same as last time, the tree green, the sea blue," "That my rose will bloom so I can give it to Orit as a present, and that she'll be the prettiest in the class, and that's it...for now."

The 2nd song (around minute 4) describes the giving of the Torah (Old Testament) on Mt. Sinai. I'm not sure that the hats and canes are of any relevance, but this song is part of my childhood psyche! "That's probably how it happened, when they received the Torah...smoke, silence, no birdsong, even angels didn't say a word..." The dance moves, the dance moves, what.can.I.say???!!!

The 3rd song (at round minute 6) was and is my total favourite, and I still know most of the words by heart. On Shavuot in Israel (and in most Jewish schools around the world) the children bring baskets filled with fruits and line up in procession, singing about the "bikkurim" - the farmers' ripening fruits. "What do I have in my basket? You ask, one plum, two onions, a radish with two leaves, a bright red strawberry, two potatoes, light from the sun, a tune from a song, and also a red rose..."

Chag sameach (happy festival) everyone!


Mary said...

Chag Sameach Eleanor.

I love the bikkurim...

Badger said...

Finally! The cheesecake holiday! I hope it is a happy one for you, dear Eleanor.