It is now Erev Shavuot 5770, May 18, 2010. Tonight and tomorrow, we will celebrate Shavuot with Jews around the world. While I plan to stay up all night and learn--as is the custom--daven at sunrise and then go to sleep, this year, Shavuot takes on a slightly new meaning.
Ever since our Aliya--a little less than a year ago--every chag, every holiday, be it minor or major was a "first" of sorts. It was our first Chanuka in Israel...our first Yom Kippur...our first Yom yerushalayim and on and on. As with other holidays, tonight marks the first Shavuot for us in Israel as Israeli citizens. But, it occurred to me last night that this is the "last first" as far as the Jewish calendar is concerned! We arrived 2 days prior to the Fast of 17 Tammuz last year. The next significant date after Shavuot is (no, not my sister's birthday!) the Fast of 17 Tammuz. So that means that once we celebrate Shavuot tonight/tomorrow, we will have gone through the entire Jewish calendar year.
It is so hard to believe that this is the case since on the one hand it feels like we just got here a couple of months ago and on the other, it seems like we have lived here forever! Shavuot is a time to rededicate one's self to Torah, both in terms of learning and in terms of practice. This year, it represents that and a whole lot more to me, personally. As we approach our one year Aliya anniversary (BE"H on Sunday, June 27, 2010--15 Tammuz), we have decided to mark the date in terms of the JEWISH calendar. So, instead of July 7th being the significant date, 15 Tammuz is "our" date. It is getting closer...and the feelings, emotions and anticipation are SO radically different THIS year than last year!
So, I best get ready for this "last first" before I run out of time. One last item, though...today is my great-nephew's brit milah. And while we can not be there in person, techonology is great that it will enable us to "particpate" long distance by the computer. Exciting day...!