Study and Theory/
Shavuot

Names of the Holiday

Shavuot is the second of the three pilgrimage festivals (Sukkot, Passover, and Shavuot). It falls on the sixth of Sivan, after counting 49 days of the Omer.

 

It could be that Shavuot constitutes several different occasions that became joined together as one.

 

The Shavuot festival – it is a mitzvah to celebrate it seven weeks and a day from the Omer harvest.
There are those who claim that Shavuot means the covenant sworn by the people before G-d, as part of a ceremony in which, once a year, all the laws of the Torah were read aloud, and the people made an oath to fulfill them.

 

Festival of First Fruits (Bikkurim) – on account of: “Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the first fruits of the wheat harvest” (Exodus 34:22). On this day it is customary to begin the season of first fruits, in which each person takes from the produce of his land and brings it to the Temple.

 

Festival of the Harvest – “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first fruits of the crops you sow in your field” (Exodus 23:16), on account of the wheat harvest during the holiday period.

 

Holiday of the giving of the Torah - remembrance of the revelation on Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Torah which, according to tradition, took place on this day.

 

Hakhel Day – the day of the giving of the Torah is the day of Hakhel, assembling of the entire nation.

 

Atzeret (or Atzeret of Passover) - name from the hazal period. This day is as the Shemini Atzeret after Passover. The two are separated by the days of the counting of the Omer just as Hol Hamoed. There are those who claim that Atzeret is like Hakhel, a day on which all assemble in one place.

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Chagim Center

Home for the Jewish Holidays

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Email: machon@chagim.co.il

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Israel

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Department of Education

World Zionist Organization

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Israel

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