On Shavuot, we celebrate Matan Torah, the Giving of the Torah. Shavuot is one of the Shelosh Regalim (the three Pilgrimage Festivals), equal in importance to Passover and Sukkot. Shavuot has both historical and agricultural significance. Main themes of the holiday are Torah (and the story of Ruth) and agriculture. “Shavuot” is the Hebrew word for “weeks.” Seven weeks after the Hebrew slaves left Egypt, seven weeks after Passover, the Israelites were giving the Ten Commandments, entering into Covenant when they received the Torah at Mt. Sinai. This is also remarkably the exact day when in Acts 2 the people received the Holy Spirit ~ The Spirit of God that of which would never lead His people away from Torah and His Word.
1. Read the Book of Ruth.
a. The Book of Ruth describes the harvest season and Shavuot is also known as Hag HaKatsir, the Harvest Festival. On Shavuot, when we celebrate God’s giving and the acceptance of the Torah, we read of Ruth’s willingly entering into the Covenant of God and His Ways. The end of the Book of Ruth describes the lineage of King David, who is Ruth’s great-grandson. According to tradition, King David was born and died on Shavuot. This is also the lineage of our Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach!
2. Study the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are traditionally read from the Torah at Shavuot services.
3. Make (and eat!) dairy foods. It’s customary to eat dairy foods! Some say that this is because the Bible compares Torah to “honey and milk…under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11).
4. Bake a special challah.
5. Decorate the home and synagogue with plants and flowers.
6. Be outdoors with your family as you marvel in His glorious Ways!