What Is Shavuot – Everything You Need to Know
While holy holidays like Passover are well-known by Jews and non-Jews alike. There are a few lesser-known ones that still have tremendous significance to Jewish people, especially in Israel. One of these is called Shavuot.
What Is Shavuot?
For two days every year, the holy holiday known as Shavuot takes place. Taking place from sundown on May 16th – 18th this year, Shavuot is a celebration of the seven-week Omer period that lasts from Passover to Shavuot. This holiday is significant because it marks the time when the Torah was given to the Israelites by G-d.
Thousands of years ago on Mt. Sinai, the giving of the Torah marked a momentous occasion. Since that pivotal moment, Jewish people have been celebrating it and renewing their acceptance of that wonderful gift. In a way, Shavuot is an occasion where G-d is giving the Torah again, as if for the very first time.
G-d giving the Torah to the Israelites was a defining moment in history. It has become a highly-cherished event within Judaism that was like something akin to a promise and devotion between the Jewish people and G-d. Every year on Shavuot, an eternal loyalty to Him is reaffirmed.
How Is Shavuot Celebrated in Israel?
Shavuot is celebrated a little bit differently today than it was 3,300 years ago. Earlier in its history, two loaves of wheat bread were given up as offerings within the Holy Temple. Additionally, people would come and bring their best and highest quality fruits. This was done to show their thanks to G-d for the wealth of food He has provided them.
Today, Shavuot has several different components to it. Both women and girls will illuminate candles whose lighting marks the start of the holy day. This lighting ceremony is done during the evenings of Shavuot.
Another popular activity involves staying up all night to read and learn the Torah. Since this is exactly when G-d gave it to the Israelites, it is a way of showing reverence for the sacred words bestowed unto His chosen people.
On the first day of Shavuot, everyone goes to their local synagogue in order to listen to the Ten Commandments being read aloud. This helps remind people of the most important rules for life that G-d has given His people.
When Shavuot is celebrated in Israel, there are also special meals provided and enjoyed. Dairy products are particularly enjoyed during Shavuot. Also, nobody is allowed to work during Shavuot. This brings it into alignment with other holy days and holidays.
There are also recitations done during Shavuot, namely from the Book of Ruth. This is because Kind David died during this holiday, and he was directly descended from Ruth.
People also like to decorate the interior of their homes, as well as synagogues, with aromatic flowers and plants, to elevate the spirit of the holiday even more.
Make this Shavuot the Best Yet
Now that you know what is Shavuot and how it is celebrated, you can get a few accessories that will make it the best yet. Holysands carries plenty of beautiful candle holders and candles to help mark the start of this holy holiday. Take a look at our selection and illuminate Shavuot like never before!