Biblical Feasts and Holy Days (3of8)

Lesson 7: Shavuot: Significance and Observance

Title: “Shavuot: The Gift of Torah and Spirit”

Introduction: Exploring Shavuot’s historical roots, its celebratory traditions, and its significance as a time of covenant and receiving divine gifts.

Discussion Points and Possible Answers:

  • Historical Event:
    • Giving of the Torah: Commemorates the moment when God gave the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai, an event detailed in Exodus 19-20.
  • Celebration in Jewish and Hebrew Roots Traditions:
    • All-night Torah Study: Known as Tikkun Leil Shavuot, a night dedicated to Torah study.
    • Reading the Book of Ruth: Symbolic of Ruth’s conversion and her harvesting which occurred around Shavuot.
    • Eating Dairy Foods: Traditionally includes cheesecakes and blintzes, symbolizing the “land flowing with milk and honey.”
  • Connection to Christian Pentecost:
    • Timing: Pentecost, celebrated 50 days after Easter, coincides with the timing of Shavuot.
    • Holy Spirit: Acts 2 describes the descent of the Holy Spirit, paralleling the divine revelation at Sinai.

Summary: Discussing Shavuot’s dual significance in commemorating the Torah and the advent of the Holy Spirit.

Biblical Story: The narrative of Israel at Mount Sinai receiving the Torah (Exodus 19-20).

Related References:

  • Acts 2: Describing the Christian Pentecost.
  • Exodus 19-20: The Sinai event.
  • “The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith” by Joan Chittister: A study on the Book of Ruth, often read during Shavuot.

Conclusion: Emphasizing Shavuot’s bridging role between the Old and New Testaments, celebrating divine revelation and guidance.

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