The Festival of Weeks, Holiday of the First Fruit, Time of the Giving of the Torah – the many names of Shavuot describe it well

Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks

Holiday begins at nightfall on

Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, corresponds to the 6th and 7th of Sivan. The many names of the holiday best describe exactly what is celebrated:

Shavuot, Festival of Weeks – Shavuot is the only holiday not listed in the Torah by the day and month on which it is to be observed. Rather, the Torah instructed that this festival take place the 49th day after the second day of Passover, the day on which the Omer Sacrifice was offered. The name, therefore, reflects the fact that this holiday occurs seven complete weeks (Shavuot) after Passover. In mystical terms, the number 7 represents the natural order of things, and so a complete, natural cycle has occurred.

Chag Ha’Bikurim, Holiday of the First Fruit – The natural cycle that has been completed is agricultural. On Chag Ha’Bikurim, the offering of the First Fruit of the harvest was brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem as a gesture of thanksgiving for the successful yield.

Z’man Matan Torateinu, Time of the Giving of the Torah – But Shavuot takes place one day after the seven weeks, which is one step beyond the natural cycle and is, therefore, also representative of a supernatural event as well. On Passover, we celebrate the miraculous Exodus of the People of Israel from Egypt. The Israelites at the time, however, were, at best, a family, a loose assortment of cousins bonded together by their mutual misery. At the end of seven weeks, however, at the base of Mount Sinai, the former slaves rose above their human limitations and, by accepting the Torah, took upon themselves a total commitment to G-d, thus creating the Nation of Israel. Shavuot is therefore also known as Z’man Matan Torateinu, the celebration of the giving of the Torah.

Jewish Treats Guide on theTen Commandments

Our free eGuide Jewish Treats on The Ten Commandments is a beautiful fifteen page overview of the Ten Commandments that were given to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai on Shavuot.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Print the Jewish Treats on the Ten Commandments or use the interface on this page to view or download.

Shavuot Videos

Shavuot Prep 101

Web Series

Welcome to NJOP’s Shavuot Prep 101 web series featuring Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald, Founder and Director of NJOP.  Watch four short webisodes discussing important topics for the Shavout holiday.

View The Series