Start with Scripture
Names for Shavuot
- Exodus 34:22
- What is the Hebrew word for “weeks” in this verse? What does it mean?
- Exodus 23:16
- Deuteronomy 18:16
- Acts 2:1
- What is the meaning of this Greek word? (Use a Strong’s concordance.)
What is required on this feast?
- Exodus 23:17
- Exodus 34:23
- Leviticus 23:15-21
- Deuteronomy 16:10-11
- Deuteronomy 16:16
- Read Leviticus 23:17. Research: How much flour is two-tenths of an ephah? How large would a loaf of bread be if it were made with this much flour?
Symbolism at Shavuot:
- YHWH gave the covenant of Torah to Israel at Sinai, traditionally 50 days after they left Egypt. Therefore, the Feast of Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah.
- The Ruach Ha Chodesh (Holy Spirit) was given 50 days after Yeshua’s resurrection.
- Read Acts 2 together.
- Also see Jeremiah 31:31-34.
Studies by Other Authors:
- Pictures and explanation at the Temple Institute’s website
- Study of Shavuot by Hoshana Rabbah
- What Are You Proclaiming on Shavuot? by Schalk and Elsa Klee
- The Harvest Festivals by Christine Miller
- How Shavuot Was Historically Figured by Pharisees, Essenes, and Sadducees, by Nehemiah Gordon
- Good Book – A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays, by Robin Sampson
How to Celebrate
One of the primary ways we should celebrate Shavuot is by going up to Jerusalem. If the Temple were standing, it would be a command for all Israelite men to go to Jerusalem three times a year to offer sacrifices.
Opinions vary about what we should do now that the Temple has been destroyed and Israel is dispersed. For instance, Schalk and Elsa Klee present a case that we should make every effort to obediently go to Jerusalem 3 times per year, even in this period of time. On the other time, other authors note that even the Apostle Paul did not always go up to Jerusalem for Shavuot while he was on his missionary journeys (see Galatians 2:1).
We look forward to the return of Yeshua and the ability to keep Torah properly. Until then, the following things can make this feast day special. Remember that no regular work (for business, as in buying, selling, or working for income) should be done on this day.
- Give gifts.
- Menu ideas from Christine Miller
- DIY Guide to Keeping Shavuot
- Jewish Traditions:
- Stay up from dusk to dawn and study Torah together, to commemorate the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai approximately 50 days after leaving Egypt.
- Read the Ten Commandments together.
- Read the book of Ruth.
- Play a game to review the content of each of the books of the Bible.
- Adorn the home and synagogue with flowers and greens (yet see caution in Jeremiah 10:2-5).
- Serve 2 loaves of wheat bread to commemorate offering at Temple.
- Dance and rejoice (Deuteronomy 16:11).
- Menu items include dairy foods, foods made with honey (Psalm 19:10), cheese blintzes served hot with sour cream and applesauce, and cheesecake with fruit sauce.
Please Add Your Ideas!
We would love it if you would also add your ideas, tips, resources, and links in the comments below. Thank you!