When the Jews were finally able to escape from Egypt, which we commemorate on Pesach, they had to travel forty-nine days to receive the Torah on Mount Sinai, which we celebrate on Shavuot.
During these 49 days a process of refinement was going on as the Jews left Egypt on their journey of freedom to the promised land.
We commemorate these 49 days with the complicated counting of the OMER representing a refinement of our beings. The daily sacrifice of barley, an animal food, makes way at Shavuot, for wheat, a more refined human food,
During this journey there was a changing emphasis from red to white. From the 1st plague when all water was turned into blood and Pharoh tried to murder all the baby boys and the smearing of blood on the lintels, to the whiteness and milkiness of Shavuot.
The first commandment given to the Jewish people on their freedom was to keep a Lunar calendar. The Hebrew word for the moon is 'lavanah', meaning white.
It seems that at this time events on Earth were red and bloody, but in the heavens it was white. Right in the beginning there was a spectrum from red to white.
The Jews were led throgh the desert for the 49 days by a Pillar of fire at night and a white cloud in the day.
Blood with birth, Pesach
The Jews left Egypt, after the 10 plagues and the Jewish nation was born by God’s decree at this time.
The 10th and final plague was the bloody slaughter of the first born. To avoid the angel of death, the Jews had to smear the blood of the slaughtered lamb on their doorposts, so that G-d would see and ‘Pass-over’. Exodus 12. 21. Birth is clearly associated with blood.
Gestation in Egypt
The Jewish people were in a state of gestation during the slavery of the Egyptian exile. On Pesach, the baby emerged, so to speak, with all the bloody associations.
Breaking the waters
The Jews were born as a nation at the time they crossed the Reed Sea , like the breaking of the waters of childbirth.
Wait 7 days after bleeding or 49 after Egypt
A young woman who is about to marry must wait 7 days after her bleeding before she can have relations with her husband. So also on the cosmic scale, the nation of Israel must wait 7 x 7, 49 days (of the Omer) before she can enter under the wedding canopy of Sinai, to "marry" the Holy One.
Nursing is transformation of mother’s blood into milk
During the 49 days of the Omer, the mother's blood of Pesach has been transformed into the mother's milk of Shavuot
King David. Human Breasts. Humans Vertical like Trees
In the same vein, King David praises and thanks G-d that human breasts are level with the heart and are not like a horizontal animal's breasts level with the birth canal. So here too, the infant feeding on milk, has risen up vertically from the level of the Pelvis to the level of the Heart The newborn infant is very dependant on the Mother’s heart for its survival
Gematria: Milk 40 Moses 40
The numerical value of the Hebrew word for milk, "chalav", is the same as the number of days Moses spent on Mt Sinai and the M of Moses's name also has a Gematria of 40
Food without blood.
Before Sinai the Jewish people were able to mix meat and milk freely.
After receiving the Torah, they realized that they had to use separate pots and pans for meat and milk, in order to keep the red (meat) and the white (milk) separate, so they limited themselves to only milky until they were able to organize the separation.
By the sweat of his brow
meaning ,agriculture, growing crops. He had to bend down to the ground to sow and harvest his food like the animals who face the ground for their food. In Eden, Adam stood straight for his food from the trees.
Torah received on Mt Sinai like milk and honey
Shavuot is associated with receiving Torah, "Honey and milk are the secrets of the Torah.”
Shavuot, One of the three Pilgrim, Foot festivals.
Shavuot is also a celebration of the first “fruits”. Everyone was obliged to go up to Jerusalem with fruit for the priests, and also to celebrate the harvest.
The sages say that Mt Sinai was chosen because it had It had no special characteristics. No height. No scenery. No vegetation. It was Desolate. It was modest and humble. A perfect starting point. It has all the characteristics of Ayin (Nothingness) and reminds us of the exercise of meditation in which we attempt to become like Mount Sinai, free of Ideas and preconceived notions and free of attachment to possessions. Be passive and quiet like Ayin and hope to receive the Torah straight from God, the Ein Sof. "Be still and know that I am God" says the Psalmist.
Michael Angelo’s statue of Moses, shows him with Horns. This is because of a mistranslation of Karney Or ( Exodus chap 34 para29) meaning radiant but also horns. When he came down from Mt Sinai He radiated such a powerful light that the people couldn't’ look at him.
What was received,
on Mount Sinai is somewhat controversial. It is generally agreed that the Jewish people only heard the first two commandments, but within that agreement there are some sages who say that the Jewish people only heard the silent aleph but this contained all the rest of the Torah. Moses was able to comprehend the meaning and put it into words for the people.
Is it possible for us to understand this concept... definitely yes. Two examples may illustrate the possibilities. If you sound a low note on the piano like C four octaves below middle C, then this note contains within it all the rest of the notes of the piano in the form of the harmonics. Another example is the feeling that we sometimes have when we wake up in the morning and and know that we have had a dream but can't put the words to the dream.
Every festival has a physical component and it n s special food. Full attention on the physical is a step to the spiritual.
Enjoy your cheesecake!!!