Shavuot (the "Feast of Weeks") is a holiday celebrating the summer grain harvest and the day the Jewish people received the Torah. The holiday takes place seven weeks after Passover, on the 6th to 7th of the Hebrew month of Sivan. On Shavuot, some have the custom of learning all night to honor the revelation at Sinai. Other Shavuot traditions include chanting the Book of Ruth, decorating the synagogue with greenery, and indulging in dairy foods. Continue reading to learn more about this joyous holiday!
Biblical Sources for Shavuot
Shavuot is never referenced in the Bible as a holiday that commemorates the giving of the Torah, but here are some of the sources that frame it as a harvest holiday.
Shavuot: The Cheesecake Holiday
There is a custom to eat dairy foods, like cheesecake and blintzes, on Shavuot. The sources below explore some possible origins of this tradition.
Decorating with Greenery
Some communities have the custom of decorating their prayer spaces with greenery to celebrate the holiday. These sources provide some context for this practice.
The Book of Ruth
Combining harvest themes with the story of a woman who chooses to commit to life as a Jew, the book of Ruth is traditionally read on Shavuot. Try searching our database to find sheets that explore this story!