Symbols of Shavuot

“Shavuot” is the Hebrew word for “weeks.” The Torah tells us to count seven full weeks after the second day of Passover to Shavuot. In ancient times, the Israelites were an agricultural people who brought sheaves of grain as gifts to the Temple for these seven weeks. On the fiftieth day, Shavuot, they brought loaves of bread made out of the new grain.

The holiday is also called Hag HaBikkurim (Hebrew for Holiday of the First Fruit) as it marks the beginning of the fruit harvest when the first ripe fruits were brought to the Temple as an offering of thanksgiving.

The upcoming dates for Shavuot are:

  • Shavuot lasts 2 days (1 for some communities) and starts the evening of May 19, 2018; June 8, 2019; May 28, 2020.

BookletShavuot: the basics Booklet


The Big issues

On Shavuot we read about Ruth, a woman who converted to Judaism, and about the virtues of welcoming “strangers” into our communities.

Further Reading and Additional Resources

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