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Home » About the Federation » Our Community »  Shavuot
6th day of Sivan - “Feast of Weeks"

Shavuot occurs on the sixth day of Sivan, exactly 50 days after the first Seder. In Hebrew, the word “Shavuot” means “Feast of Weeks,” and stands for the seven weeks during which the Jewish people prepare themselves for the giving of the Torah. Shavuot is the holiday that celebrates the moment when the Jewish people stood before God at Mt. Sinai and received the Torah. In the bible it is described as an agricultural pilgrimage holiday, a day when people come from all over the land of Israel, to the Temple, bearing gifts from the first fruits of the wheat and fruit harvest, as an offering to God.

Study is the primary way of preparing for the holiday. It is customary in some synagogues to run study sessions until late into the night or all night long. Shavuot begins with a festive meal and it is customary to have the offering of two loaves of bread made from newly harvested wheat. There is a tradition of eating dairy foods on Shavuot because when the Israelites received the Laws at Mt. Sinai, they realized that their pots were not kosher, and so they ate uncooked dairy meals instead.