Notable Events & Symbols
- The most notable event in Sivan is Shavuot, celebrating matan Torah, or the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. The two tablets are said to mirror each other; not just identical in shape, the five commandments on either side are supposed to reflect one another e.g. “do not covet” reflects “honor thy parents”, as the desire to want what you don’t have is in a sense to decry your lot in life.
- The event itself is supported by two columns -- the Torah supports the Jewish people and vice versa. The Kabbalah says of Gemini that each twin is like a column: the right one represents kindness, and the left one, strength (the Hebrew words for each can be seen at each column’s respective bottom). Similarly, Song of Songs describes twins as being like two gazelles, which are shown on the columns.
- Again on the pillars, one can see the first and last commandments given by Torah: on the right, “be fruitful and multiply” is represented by babies (top) and on the left, to write a Torah scroll (also top). The first event is also represented by the serpent of the Garden, and the last event of Moshe transferring authority over to Yehoshua as he looks over tribal territory and the Mediterranean Sea.
- Patriarch: Yaakov (Jacob). On the right, he commences his 7 year commitment to work as a shepherd for Laban to wed his daughter Rachel, only to be tricked into marrying Leah. His expression is optimistic (kindness). On the left, he commences another 7 years to finally marry his first choice, with an expression of patience (strength).
- Notice the udders on the she-goats. This obviously represents support, but also symbolizes the custom to eat dairy on Shavuot. Felt too weird to draw a cheesecake in here lol.
- Tribe: Zevulun, represented by the merchant boats (top left/right). In the previous month of Iyar, the tribe is Yissachar, Zevulun’s counterpart who preferred to study. Zebulun, in turn, was the trader who supported his brother’s studies. On the right, the ship is stocked with goods to sell, and on the left, the boat returns empty.
- Similarly, Yaakov also preferred to study in a tent (illustrated behind him) while twin Esav flourished in the field and hunted game.