Shavuot

Shavuot

Kehila's often irreverant approach to Jewish holidays and customs is nowhere more apparent than at Shavuot, the holiday that commemorates the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai. For many years our outdoors-oriented community went to Mt. Sugarloaf in Maryland in search of the 10 Commandments - but alas, Sugarloaf was no Sinai, and the law was nowhere to be found.

Then, in 1991, we brought our own! Our tablets declared:

  1. Thou shalt rejoice and have food and fun.
  2. Thou shalt honor all Kehila members equally.
  3. Thou shat have celebrations on the weekends even if the holiday falls during the week.
  4. Thou shalt volunteer graciously to host Onegs.
  5. Thou shalt abide by the schedule, once announced.
  6. Thou shalt stay until the activity is cleaned up.
  7. Thou shalt speak for yourself and no one else in the Kehila.
  8. Thou shalt be eclectic in thy Judaism.
  9. Thou shalt feel free of the encumbrances of a building.
  10. Thou shalt see value in not defining Kehila philosophy.

As with the law handed down to Moses, some of these commandments are, at best, loosely adhered to - in particular, #3: we celebrate the High Holidays on their calendar dates, and we join together at Pesach for second seder even when it's not on a weekend. Through the years we have expanded #4 to include some holiday celebrations and all board meetings.

As the community has grown and the original hikers have aged, we no longer visit Mt. Sugarloaf/Sinai in search of the law. Most years we celebrate Shavuot as a community during Sunday morning activities. If the calendar schedules the holiday too late in the spring, as in 2016, we gather at a recreation center for holiday fun and food - in keeping with the First Commandment: have fun and food!