Shavuot

The festival of Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Shavuot's Origins

The festival of Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah TorahתּוֹרָהLiterally “instruction” or “teaching.” The first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy); the handwritten scroll that contains the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Also called the Pentateuch and The Five Books of Moses. “Torah” is also used to refer to the entire body of Jewish religious teachings and insight.  at Mount Sinai and encourages us to embrace the Torah’s teachings and be inspired by the wisdom Jewish tradition has to offer.

Shavuot is the Hebrew word for “weeks,” and the holiday occurs seven weeks after Passover. Shavuot, like many other Jewish holidays, began as an ancient agricultural festival that marked the end of the spring barley harvest and the beginning of the summer wheat harvest. In ancient times, Shavuot was a pilgrimage festival during which Israelites brought crop offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem. Today, it is a celebration of Torah, education, and the choice to participate actively in Jewish life.

Tikkun Leil Shavuot Videos and Study Guides

One of the most distinctive customs of Shavuot is Tikkun Leil Shavuot, an evening-long study session held on the night of Shavuot. Uphold this tradition by watching and learning with the rabbis featured in these videos, and exploring the accompanying study guides.

Celebrate Shavuot with Shalom Sesame

Together with your children, watch these Shalom Sesame videos to learn about Shavuot and celebrating the Torah. Then try some of the discussion ideas and activities recommended by Reform Jewish educators to further extend the lessons learned in the videos.

Grandma Lucille's Blintz Souffle

Tina Wasserman
Blintzes are a popular dish for many Jewish celebrations, but they are most often served to celebrate Shavuot. Using frozen blintzes makes this a fast and easy festive meal!

Find a Congregation Near You

Find connection, community, learning, and spirituality at a welcoming Reform congregation near you.

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Congregation Beth Am photo at Pride March

 

A Shavuot Social Action Guide

It has been said that the entire Torah exists to establish justice. Thus, through the study of Torah and other Jewish texts, Shavuot offers us an opportunity to recommit ourselves to tikkun olam, the repair of the world.

What's New

Make Memorial Day Count in 2021

May 11, 2021
On Shavuot, the holiday when we celebrate receiving the Torah marks the completion of counting the omer, we are reminded of the historic and nation-altering moment our ancestors experienced in the desert when God revealed God’s self.

A Prayer for Jerusalem

May 10, 2021
Today we celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, the anniversary of that fateful day in 1967 when the Israeli paratroopers reached the Western Wall and announced: "הר הבית בידנו" -- “The Temple Mount is in our Hands.” That moment ushered in the the promise for Jews everywhere, after years of dreaming and longing, to come and pray before this sacred space.