It is customary to eat dairy foods on the first day of Shavuot.
Menus range from traditional cheese blintzes and cakes to quiches, casseroles and more.
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There are a number of reasons for this custom.
Here are a few:
- We eat two meals on Shavuot; first a dairy meal, and then, after a short break, we eat the traditional holiday meat meal. This commemorates the two-loaf bread offering that was brought in the Temple at this time.
- When we received the Torah, keeping Kosher became law. The Torah was received on Shabbat so no cattle could be slaughtered and no utensils could be koshered. Therefore, on that day they ate dairy.
- The Torah is likened to nourishing milk. The Hebrew word for milk is chalav, and the numerical value of the word chalav is forty. Forty is the number of days Moses spent on Mount Sinai when receiving the Torah.
- So on Shavuot we eat dairy products and then take a break before eating meat.