Shavuot

Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) commemorates the revelation of the Torah on Mt. Sinai to the Jewish people, and occurs on the 50th day after the 49 days of counting the Omer. Shavuot is one of the three biblically based pilgrimage holidays known as the shalosh regalim. It is associated with the grain harvest in the Torah. It took Moses and the Israelites seven weeks of trekking through the desert to reach Mount Sinai. Shavuot literally translates to “weeks” in Hebrew, emphasizing the conclusion of this seven week journey. The timing of the holiday suggests that Shavuot may have been an ancient agricultural festival that took on special significance when the events at Mount Sinai occurred. Because of this, Jews will often “bring the outdoors indoors” by decorating the house and synagogue with flowers and greenery. Many Jews also celebrate the holiday by staying up all night on Erev Shavuot to study and symbolically prepare for receiving the wisdom of the Torah. This event is called Tikkun Leyl Shavuot (the Shavuot night watch)