May 17, 2021
In 2021, Shavuot begins at sunset on Sunday, May 16 and ends at sundown on Tuesday, May 18.
Shavuot: Hebrew name means “Weeks” because it was traditional to count the weeks between Passover and Shavuot. What’s it about? Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. It was a pilgrimage holiday when the Temple was standing in Jerusalem, when farmers brought the first fruits of their four-year-old trees.
It’s a one day holiday in the land of Israel and in the Reform tradition; Orthodox and Conservative Jews in the Diaspora keep it for two days.
Foods: Dairy foods are traditional on Shavuot, like blintzes and cheesecake. Activities: One of the traditional texts for Shavuot is the Book of Ruth. Reform Judaism therefore chose Shavuot as the holiday on which to hold Confirmation ceremonies, when teenagers reaffirm their Jewish beliefs. Some Jews follow the mystical custom of an all-night study session, called a Tikkun Leil Shavuot, on the eve of Shavuot. Symbols: Tablets, blintzes. Greeting: “Hag Sameah” or “Happy holiday”