b'JEWISH CALENDAR COMPANIONAs time went by and my involvement with WMA strengthened, I added the additional enjoyment of decorating the Shul with flowers. It suddenly seemed that absolutely everyone had a view and knew where to get the very best flowers that lasted well and were good value for money. not to mention the cheesecake at Kiddush! Now in 2020 I find myself, once again, enjoying the wonderful and inspiring story of Ruth. Its themes, which I first understood at one level when I was younger, today resonate at a completely different level;hereisRuth,aMoabitewhosehusbandhasdied,who commits to her mother-in-law and her people rather than returning to her home land. With the benefit of life experience, I now have a more mature understanding of Ruths story and the huge choices she made, however,thathascomewithsomequestions.Thesequestions have impacted on my understanding of the current thinking on conversion and inheritance, not to mention the interpretation of family responsibilities. The spirit of Ruth, the great grandmother of David, King of Israel, is best captured in her words to Naomi: for wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people and your G-d my G-d. (Chapter 1, Verse 16) What wonderful, inspiring thoughtsat one level so simple and accessibleandyettheunderlyingmeaningsocomplex.This sentence is one womans commitment to her mother-in-law and a faith, different from her own. This leads me to understanding why Tichun Leil (learning through the night) is such a special experience and one of the very real enjoyments of Shavuot. It allows us a time to learn and think and grow spiritually, a perfect parallel to Ruths experiences and, just after dawn, to hear the very early Shacharit and walk home, experiencing a tranquil, peaceful moment in an otherwise very busy area of central London. So what is Shavuot to me? A time to reflect and think about what we have learntto find a way through; to welcome the other; to being prepared to listen and include others and to not turn away from them; to breakdown stumbling blocks through the medium of learning and celebrating aided and abetted by flowers and cheesecake.57'