Shavuot (Pentecost)

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Shavuot torah.jpg
Shavu'ot, or the Festival of Weeks, is a Judaica holiday which is the second of the three festival holidays following Passover and before Sukkot. Agriculturally it commemorates when fruits were harvested and taken to temple. Historically it celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Known as Pentecost because it falls on the 50th day of the year even though it is not related to Christian Pentecost.

[edit] Traditions

The period from Passover to Shavu'ot is one of great anticipation. Counting begins the second day of Passover and continues for 49 days or seven full weeks. The counting reminds ones of the connection between Passover and Shavu'ot. Passover is when the Jews were physically freed from bondage. Shavu'ot is when the giving of the Torah redeemed the Jews spiritually from bondage.

Shavu'ot is called the time of the giving of the Torah. The Torah is received everyday through prayer and reading but it was only given the first time at Mount Sinai.

Work is not permitted on Shavu'ot. It is also customary to stay up all night the first night studying the Torah.

Eating a dairy meal once during Sahvu'ot is customary. Some believe it is because of the promise that the land of Israel would be flowing with "milk and honey". Others believe it is because the Israelites did not have both dairy and meat dishes available to them.

[edit] Jewish Holidays

[edit] Sources

Judaism 101 -Shavu'ot