Shavuot 2024

Shavuot (שָׁבוּעוֹת in Hebrew, also pronounced Shavuos) is a two-day Jewish holiday (June 11-13, 2024) that commemorates the date when G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai over 3,000 years ago. Preceded by 49 days of counting in eager anticipation, Shavuot is celebrated through desisting from work, candle-lit dinners, staying up all night to study Torah, listening to the reading of the Ten Commandments in synagogue, enjoying dairy foods and other festivities.

Shavuot is a two-day holiday, beginning at sundown following the 5th of Sivan and lasting until nightfall of the 7th of Sivan (June 11-13, 2024). In Israel it is a one-day holiday, ending at nightfall of the 6th of Sivan.

What Shavuot Commemorates

The word Shavuot (or Shavuos) means “weeks.” It celebrates the completion of the seven-week Omer counting period between Passover and Shavuot.

The Torah was given by G‑d to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai on Shavuot more than 3,300 years ago. Every year on the holiday of Shavuot we renew our acceptance of G‑d’s gift, and G‑d “re-gives” the Torah.

The giving of the Torah was a far-reaching spiritual event—one that touched the essence of the Jewish soul for all times. Our sages have compared it to a wedding between G‑d and the Jewish people. Shavuot also means “oaths,” for on this day G‑d swore eternal devotion to us, and we in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him. Learn more about the giving of the Torah and what it means to us today.

In ancient times, two wheat loaves would be offered in the Holy Temple on Shavuot. It was also at this time that people would begin to bring bikkurim, their first and choicest fruits, to thank G‑d for Israel’s bounty. Learn about bikkurim here.

How Is Shavuot Celebrated?

Shavuot FAQ

What is Shavuot?

Shavuot is a Jewish holiday on the anniversary of the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. Coming after the 7-week Omer Count, It is also known as the Festival of Weeks.
Read: 11 Shavuot Facts Every Jew Should Know

What does Shavuot mean?

Shavuot means “weeks” and it is thus named because comes after counting 49 days (7 weeks) from the second day of Passover, each day becoming more refined and more ready for this special celebration.
Read: What Is the Meaning of Shavuot?

When is Shavuot celebrated?

Shavuot is a two-day holiday. Coming after the seven-week Omer count, it is celebrated on the sixth and seventh days of the Hebrew month of Sivan, which usually falls in late May or early June on the Gregorian calendar.
Read: When Is Shavuot This Year?

How long is Shavuot?

In Israel, Shavuot is just one day long, beginning before sunset and concluding after night has fallen the following day. In the diaspora, it is a two-day holiday, extending for another 24 hours.
Read: Why The Extra Day in the Diaspora?

How to celebrate Shavuot?

Shavuot is celebrated by lighting candles each night, staying up all night studying Torah, hearing the 10 Commandments during synagogue services, and eating festive meals, some of which may include dairy foods.
Explore: Shavuot Laws & Customs

Is work permitted on Shavuot?

Like other holidays (yom tov), work is not allowed on Shavuot, with the exception of certain forms of food prep (such as cooking on a preexisting flame) and carrying without an eruv.
Read: Laws of Yom Tov

What is the significance of eating dairy foods on Shavuot?

One explanation is that the Torah is compared to milk and honey, and dairy foods symbolize the sweetness and richness of the Torah.
Read: Why Eat Dairy on Shavuot?

Why is the Book of Ruth read on Shavuot?

The story of Ruth takes place during the barley harvest, which coincides with the time of Shavuot. Ruth's journey to convert to Judaism and join the Jewish people is seen as an example of devotion and loyalty to the Torah.
Read: Ruth-Shavuot Connections

Why stay up all night studying Torah on Shavuot?

The most common reason is that the Israelites overslept on the morning they were supposed to receive the Torah, so staying up all night “fixes” that missed opportunity.
Read: Learning All Night on Shavuot

When are the 10 Commandments read?

The 10 Commandments are read as part of morning services on the first day of Shavuot. Since so many kids come to that service, it is often followed by an ice cream party for children (and a dairy reception for the adults).
Read: Hear the 10 Commandments

Who should attend the 10 Commandments reading?

The Rebbe encouraged every single Jew—men, women, and even babies—to make every effort to come to synagogue and hear the 10 Commandments from the Torah.
Find: A 10 Commandments Reading Near You

Are there any specific customs associated with Shavuot?

Some Shavuot customs include decorating homes and synagogues with flowers and greenery, learning all night, hearing the 10 Commandments, eating dairy, and reading the Book of Ruth.
Read: 7 Reasons From Greenery and Flowers on Shavuot

Is Yizkor said on Shavuot?

Yes, Yizkor is said as part of morning services on the second day of Shavuot (in Israel, where there is only one day, it is said on that day, following the reading of the 10 Commandments).
Read: Yizkor

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