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Ruth in Boaz's Field
Official nameHebrew: שבועות or חג שבעות (Ḥag HaShavuot or Shavuot)
Also calledEnglish: "Festival of Weeks"
Observed byJudaism and Jews
SignificanceOne of the Three Pilgrim Festivals. Celebrates the revelation of the Five Books of the Torah (or Old Testament of the Christian Bible) by God to Moses and to the Israelites at Mount Sinai, 49 days (7 weeks) after the Exodus from Egypt. Commemorates the wheat harvesting in the Land of Israel. Culmination of the 49 days of the Counting of the Omer.
Begins6th day of Sivan (or the Sunday following the 6th day of Sivan in the Karaite tradition)
Ends7th (in Israel: 6th) day of Sivan
CelebrationsFestive meals. All-night Torah study. Recital of Akdamut liturgical poem in Ashkenazic synagogues. Reading of the Book of Ruth. Eating of dairy products. Decoration of homes and synagogues with greenery (Orach Chayim, 494).
Related toPassover, which precedes Shavuot

Shavuot, or Shavuos in Ashkenazic usage, is a holiday celebrated by Jewish people. They celebrate it to remember the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai. The holiday association between the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah) and Shavuot is not explicit in the Biblical text.

Shavuot is celebrated on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, which may occur in May or June. It falls 49 days after Passover(Pesach), which comes before Shavuot. It marks the end of the Counting of the Omer (Sefirat HaOmer). Pentecost falls around the time of Shavuot.

In Secular Jews of the Diaspora, Shavuot is one of the Jewish holidays known to not be celebrated as much, while the people in Israel celebrate it every year.[1][2]

Shavuot is celebrated by all types of Orthodox Jewry, ranging from Modern to ultra-Orthodox. It is one of the three pilgrimage holidays celebrated by Jews. (The other two being Passover, and Sukkot, or 'Festival of the Tabernacle'.)

According to Jewish law, Shavuot is celebrated in Israel for one day and in the Diaspora (outside of Israel) for two days. Reform Jews celebrate only one day.[3]

Jews travel from their countries to Jerusalem to sacrifice wheat to the temple.

References[change | change source]

  1. Goldberg, J.J. (12 May 2010). "Shavuot: The Zeppo Marx of Jewish Holidays". The Forward. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  2. Wein, Rabbi Berel (21 May 2010). "Shavuot Thoughts". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  3. My Jewish Learning on Shavuot Archived 2008-06-09 at the Wayback Machine - see 7th paragraph