Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, Holiday of the Giving of the Torah

Shavuot 2013 , 5773

Ark of the Torah

Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, Celebrates the Revelation at Sinai

The word "Shavuot" (Ashkenazi pronunciation"Shavuos") literally means "weeks". The holiday falls on the sixth of the month of Sivan, 50 days after the second night of Passover. Shavuot 2013 falls on Wednesday 15 May, 2013 (and Thursday 16 May, 2013 outside of Israel). There are at least five names commonly given to this holiday: Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, Feast of the first fruits, the harvest festival, "Atzeret" (the "ending", Passover being the beginning), and the Festival of the Giving of the Torah, are all biblical names for the holiday.

The end of the Omer

We mentioned the Omer (Wave) offering on the discussion of Lag Baomer as the period of counting from the second night of Pesach for 50 days. The Omer is mandated biblically in Leviticus 23:9-14. This counting culminates in the holiday of Shavuot. During this time, the Children of Israel traveled in the desert, arriving at Mount Sinai. Shavuot celebrates the revelation at Mt. Sinai, the giving of the Torah to the Children of Israel.

Shavuot is mandated biblically in Leviticus 23:15-21. The laws and customs of Shavuot prayers are discussed in the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 494. Various aspects of the holiday are discussed throughout the Talmud.

Shavuot Customs and Traditions

Some of the more popular customs for Shavuot include:

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