Shavuot 2021 / שָׁבוּעוֹת 5781
Shavuot (Festival of Weeks) for Hebrew Year 5781 began in the Diaspora on and ended on .
The festival of Shavuot (or Shavuos, in Ashkenazi usage; Shabhuʿoth in Classical and Mizrahi Hebrew Hebrew: שבועות, lit. “Weeks”) is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (late May or early June). Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the day G-d gave the Torah to the entire Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai, although the association between the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah) and Shavuot is not explicit in the Biblical text. The holiday is one of the Shalosh Regalim, the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer.Shavuot 2021 – Festival of Weeks – שבועות | Hebcal Jewish Calendar
“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days… You shall convoke on this very day — there shall be a holy convocation for yourselves — you shall do no laborious work; it is an eternal decree in your dwelling places for your generations. (Leviticus 21:15-16, Leviticus 21)“
Shavu’ot is not associated with a specific calendar date, but rather with the numbering of the days after Passover. Since the duration of the months was previously calculated by observation (see Jewish Calendar Judaism 101: Jewish Calendar (jewfaq.org) ), and because there are two new moons between Passover and Shavu’ot, Shavu’ot may fall on the 5th or 6th of Sivan. Shavu’ot is still on the 6th of Sivan (the 6th and 7th outside of Israel) now that we have a mathematically defined calendar and the months between Passover and Shavu’ot do not change length on the mathematical calendar. (For more details, see Extra Day of Holidays. Judaism 101: Jewish Holidays (jewfaq.org))
During Shavu’ot, no work is allowed.
It is traditional to read Torah during the first night of Shavu’ot, then pray as early as possible the next morning.
During Shavu’ot, it is customary to eat a dairy meal at least once. There are differing viewpoints on why this is done. Judaism 101: Kashrut: Jewish Dietary Laws (jewfaq.org) Some believe it is a reminder of the future of a land flowing with “milk and honey” for Israel. Another explanation is that our forefathers had only acquired the Torah (and its dietary laws) and didn’t have access to both meat and dairy foods.
This is when the book of Ruth is read. There are a variety of explanations given for this practice, although none of them seem to be conclusive.
Torah Portions Day 1 Shavuot Day 1 (jtsa.edu)
Torah Portions Day 2 Shavuot Day 2 (jtsa.edu)
Curiosity – why is the book of Ruth Read?
In traditional settings, the Book of Ruth is read on the second day of Shavuot . The book is about a Moabite woman who, after her husband dies, follows her Israelite mother-in-law, Naomi, into the Jewish people with the famous words “whither you go, I will go, wherever you lodge, I will lodge, your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” She asserts the right of the poor to glean the leftovers of the barley harvest, breaks the normal rules of behavior to confront her kinsman Boaz, is redeemed by him for marriage, and becomes the ancestor of King David. Read the whole book of Ruth below:-
The custom of doing this is already mentioned in the Talmudic tractate of Soferim (14:16), and the fact that the first chapter of the Midrash of Ruth deals with the giving of the Torah is evidence that this custom was already well established by the time this Midrash was compiled. [Tractate Soferim is one of the latest books of the Talmud, probably dating no earlier than the eighth century.]
There are many explanations given for the reading of Ruth on Shavuot. The most quoted reason is that Ruth’s coming to Israel took place around the time of Shavuot, and her acceptance into the Jewish faith was analogous of the acceptance of the Jewish people of God’s Torahhttps://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/why-do-we-read-the-book-of-ruth-on-shavuot/