There is an idea (which I initially became familiar with in my misspent youth from tamei sources but subsequently have seen it mentioned in tahor one's) that Shavuos is, as it were, a marriage between Am Yisroel and Hashem. Does anybody have the source for this idea and able to elaborate?

  • Why would an agricultural festival have to do with marriage? – mevaqesh Jul 19 '16 at 6:24

The Mishna in Taanis 4:8 tells us that when it says in Shir Hashirim 3:11 "The day of our wedding" it refers to the giving of the Torah, i.e Shavuot. (Rashi on Shir Hashirim 3:11 says it as well.)

Once we've established that there is a connection between the giving of the Torah and Marriage, this opens us up for a lot of divre torah, connecting the two. Such as the one @SimchasTorah linked to, which compares the whole time period from Pesach to Shavuos as different steps in the Marriage process. Or this one here, which uses the Ten Commandments as a template for marital harmony. Or this one, which tells us how a marriage is much more than just the union of two people.

  • It is misleading to construe the Mishna as believing that Shavuot is the time of the giving of the Torah. It likely only became associated with the giving of the Torah after the establishment of the set calendar. – mevaqesh Jul 19 '16 at 6:23
  • Even when the calendar was not set, it was at most one or two days off. – Menachem Jul 19 '16 at 7:15
  • Interesting idea. Do you have proof that the Mishna agrees? We know that many disagree. E.g. שו"ת הריב"ש סימן צו שלא תלה הכתוב חג שבועות ביום מתן תורה, אלא ביום חמשים לעומר. אלא, שבזמן הזה, דידעינן בקביעא דירחא, ולעולם ניסן מלא ואייר חסר, כלים חמשים לעומר ביום ו' בסיון, שנתנה בו תורה לדעת רבנן; כדאיתא במסכת שבת בפ' אמר רבי עקיבא (פו:). ולזה אנו מזכירין בתפלה זמן מתן תורתינו. – mevaqesh Jul 19 '16 at 15:42

See here http://www.yutorah.org/togo/Shavuot/articles/Shavuot_To-Go_-_5770_Rabbi_Brand.pdf

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