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"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.

Upcoming Dates

  • Shavuot lasts 2 days (1 for some communities) and starts the evening of May 30, 2017; May 19, 2018; and June 8, 2019.

Shavuot: The Basics is proud to present Shavuot: The Basics, a booklet explaining the holiday, its customs and traditions.
 Further Reading
 Additional Resources
 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.

  At Home

Shavuot at home and in your community:


Stay tuned for more Shavuot resources!
 Keep Talking

Questions? Comments? Looking to share Shavuot ideas and stories with others?

 Quick Tips
Coming soon!


A Summer holiday commemorating the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, it is also known as the Feast of Weeks, as it comes seven weeks after Passover begins. A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
Reform synagogues are often called "temple." "The Temple" refers to either the First Temple, built by King Solomon in 957 BCE in Jerusalem, or the Second Temple, which replaced the First Temple and stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem from 516 BCE to 70 CE. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), or the scroll that contains them.
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