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Home > Holidays > Shavuot's Guide to Shavuot
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Shavuot: Overview

Coming seven weeks after Passover, Shavuot, the "Festival of Weeks," commemorates when God gave the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. The exodus from Egypt, for all its drama, was only a means to an end; God didn't take the Jews out "with a strong hand" just so they could go to summer camp in the desert. They would serve him. But they would need the instruction manual.

This holiday begins on the 6th of Sivan, the date God gave the Torah. Shavuot doesn't get as much press as other Jewish holidays, but it's just as important. Without the Torah, there is no framework for Judaism beyond mere belief. Most Jewish philosophers believe that Judaism is based on action, not just words and thoughts.

The name "Shavuot" stems from the counting of the Omer, the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot. On this holiday Jews read the Book of Ruth, which tells of a convert woman who remained dedicated to her mother-in-law even after Ruth's husband dies. Her devotion to her family and Judaism were significant enough that King David descended from her bloodline.

Shavuot is similar to the other two major festivals, Passover and Sukkot, in that it has Shabbat-like restrictions against work, but is different in that it's only two days long, one in Israel.

For a variety of reasons, it's also when Jews eat cheesecake. Main reason? It tastes good. shavuot
Aish HaTorah: shavuot
Beth El on shavuot
Everything Jewish: shavuot
From Pesach to Shavuot
Holidays on the Net: shavuot
JCN: All About Shavuot, The Feast of Weeks
The Jewish Agency for Israel: shavuot
Jewish Communication Network: shavuot
Jewish Heritage Magazine: shavuot
Jewish Holiday Consumer: shavuot
Jewish Outreach: shavuot
New Light on Ancient Ritual

Nurit Reshef: Shavuot Introduction
Ohr Sameach: Shavous
OU: shavuot
Project Genesis: shavuot
shavuot on the Net
shavuot Center
shavuot from CLAL
shavuot from the Chabad of Maryland
shavuot on VJ
Torah from Dixie shavuot Archives
The Virtual Beit Midrash: shavuot
Virtual Jerusalem: shavuot

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