Shavuot occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan. Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai. The holiday is one of the Shalosh Regalim, the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer.
The Best Kept Secret!
by Rabbi David Ackerman
Shavuot is a festival with multiple identities. It is:
- a Biblical pilgrimage festival marking the first harvest of spring;
- a Rabbinic telling of the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai;
- a Kabbalistic (mystical) celebration of Israel’s love for Torah;
- and a community confirmation of the importance of Jewish learning for young adults.
Shavuot is all of these, yet it is still the best kept secret of all Jewish holidays. Shavuot combines biblical, rabbinic, mystical and modern traditions that celebrate the giving of the Torah, God’s gift to the Jewish people, guiding us to practice what is good and just.
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Hearing God’s Voice
by Rabbi Marc J Margolius
The ancient sage Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi once compared the idea of God speaking to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai to a hammer striking an anvil, causing sparks to fly off in all directions. Each and every person at Sinai—from the oldest to the youngest, from the wisest to the simplest—heard God speaking to them personally, according to their unique capacity. More than this, taught Rabbi Joshua: each and every day, God’s voice goes forth from Sinai. Revelation, the giving of Torah, is eternal and ongoing.