Shavuot is one of the three Holidays for which the Israelites were commanded to come to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem with offerings. Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah and the Ten Commandments to Israelites at Mount Sinai. In Shavuot, the first fruits harvested were brought to the Kohen (priest) in the Temple in Jerusalem. The word Shavuot means "weeks". The festival is so named because Moses gave Torah to the Israelites 7 weeks after their Exodus from Egypt. Most of the holidays mentioned in the Bible were assigned a specific day. But, the timing of Shavuot Holiday is given relative to Passover holiday.
"Until the day after the seventh week, you shall count, fifty days; and you shall bring a 'new' grain offering to Hashem" (Vayikra 23:16)
עַד מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת, תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם; וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם מִנְחָה חֲדָשָׁה, לַיהוָה.
וַיִּקְרָא כ"ג, טז
Thus, the Shavuot holiday has the following additional names:
- Hag Matan Torah (חג מתן תורה) - The holiday for the giving of the Torah
- Hag HaKatzir (חג הקציר) - Harvest holiday
- Hag HaBikurim (חג הביכורים) - The day the first fruits of orchards were brought to the Temple.
- Atzeret (עצרת) -
On Shavuot, in addition to the usual prayers the Megilah of Ruth is read.
The Ten Commandments
- I am the Lord your G-d, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery
- You shall have no other gods but me
- You shall not take the name of your Lord in vain
- You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy
- Honor your father and mother
- You shall not kill
- You shall not commit adultery
- You shall not steal
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
- You shall not covet your neighbor's goods. You shall not covet your neighbours house. You shall not covet your neighbours wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his bull, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour's.I am the L-rd, your G-d