Shavuot

Shavuot, a religious holiday which takes place on the sixth day of the month of Sivan. This holiday pays homage to the anniversary of when God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel atop Mount Sinai. From the second day of Passover to the day before Shavuot is a period of great anticipation of Jews. This period of waiting, which is approximately seven weeks, is a reminder of first being freed from physical bondage (from Egypt) to eventually being freed from spiritually bondage by receiving the Torah from God and learning of his laws.

Celebrations and Observances

Several observances are made during this holiday. The first, and perhaps the most important one, is restraining from work of any kind. Traditionally, one is supposed to stay up reading the Torah the entire first night, and act that is followed by early morning prayers. This is also a time when the Book Of Ruth is traditionally read. Many people also read the Akdamut, a poem that praises the greatness of God. This poem was created by Rabbi Meir of Worms, after his son had been killed during the Crusades. And finally, it is customary to eat at least one dairy meal during this day.