Promoting Shavuot

How do we get the message out?

Comments (14)

(14) Anonymous, April 18, 2010 4:17 PM

Mission Impossible

It's sadly impossible to promote Shavuos to non-Torah Observant Jews, because their streams a) don't believe the Torah was given at Har Sinai and b) believe the Torah was written by humans, not Hashem. In addition, if you try to explain to them why it was signficant that the entire Jewish people was there and witnessed it, they will usually say, "We emphasize teachings, not the alleged event," or "It really didn't happen; that's just an interpretation."

(13) Levent, June 6, 2008 3:40 AM


Its nice to teach us this beleive..Thank you from Izmir

(12) JASH of AT, June 5, 2008 1:23 PM

Just the video I needed

Like many, I have overlooked Shavuot. I received e-mails from friends reminding me of the upcoming appointed time. One of them referred me to this video. It was just what I needed. Blessing to all and I hope we can indeed spread The WorD to not forget The WorD. Shalom from Charlotte, NC

(11) Ester, June 5, 2008 10:09 AM

Liora, I love the way you build up the excitement for Shavuot

Only I hope that where you mention music you mean singing and clapping. Music on an instrument would be forbidden on the yom tov. Have a happy one!

(10) Menashe Kaltmann, June 4, 2008 8:15 PM

Let''s Promote Going to Listen To The Ten Commandments

Thanks for the opportunity to promote Shavout -but aren''t we just reinventing the wheel?

Aren''t there Jewish groups who have encouraged all Jewish people, Men,Women, and Kids to go to listen to The Torah reading of The Aseret HaDibrot The Ten Commandments?

Wouldn''t this be the best way to again relive the awesome and holiness of this wonderful holy and holiday?

(9) Chaya, June 4, 2008 4:50 PM

Shavous: It would have been enough.


I love Shavuous. As my mother-in-law, aleha shalom, used to say, "On Shavuous you can eat when you like, where you like and what you like."

I am involved with a group of Lubavitch women who are publicizing Shavuous. I am baking cheesecakes and giving them out to Jews with information about the holiday.

A gut Yom Tov to all!

Moshiach Now!!

(8) ruth Housman, June 4, 2008 12:43 PM

The Book of Ruth

There is something about Shavuot and I do so appreciate being brought to this deep reminder about this most important of holidays. Perhaps it is for weeks and weeks that we should be remembering and perhaps it is for mitzvot itself.

My name is Ruth. Within the word "Truth" is contained Ruth. Ruth is about friendship and love. It is a pure Biblical story. In English we have lost the use of the word "ruth", to have ruth, but we retain, ruthless, being without ruth.

I take these deep, most beautiful connects seriously, because, my name is Ruth. I have told other Ruths about the significance of the name and those who hadn''t noticed, thanked me.

I don''t think it random that the lineage of the Messiah is at the end of this most pure and lovely story. I am seeing that the gold thread that connects us all, is truly so beautiful.

So for me, Shavuos, being that time of year of the reading from "my book", well I celebrate this. If life has meaning, that meaning is to be found in friendship and love, and this is embodied in the story of a young woman who left her own roots to follow her mother-in-law to a foreign land. It''s simply, a beautiful story.

Ruth is read Shavuot because the timing of its events occurred ''at the beginning of the barley harvest,'' and this period is also the time of Shavuot'' (Abudraham).
''The reading of Ruth on Shavuot is a reminder of the stand at Mt. Sinai, when the people of Israel received a total of six hundred and thirteen mitzvoth - six hundred and six mitzvoth in addition to the seven previous Noahide Laws. The numerical value of Hebrew letters which comprise the word Ruth is six hundred and six'' (Teshu''ot Chen).
''From her very birth, Ruth was worthy of accepting upon herself the yoke of mitzvoth, and the very letters of her name bear witness to it.

(7) Liora, June 4, 2008 10:15 AM

Each day...

with my children, we count the omer. We recite the blessing in Hebrew, and then in English "today is the __ day of the Omer!" and we shout and whoop it up. :-) They love it! Every Sabbath leading up to Shavuot, my husband leads the congregation in the blessing and then the count. On Shavuot we have everyone over to our house for a teaching and music, food and fellowship. We love the Festivals of HaShem!!! We love the Torah!!!

(6) yitzchak, June 4, 2008 9:25 AM

we were there

1. to remind a fellow jew that we were all there at the giving/receiving of the torah and
2. that the entire nation was in pure peace with each other "like one person of one heart". the main point is:
3. the revelation continues to this day
4. jewish holidays are not just in commemoration, spiritually we are able to re-experience them..if we alow ourselves through avodah & emuna
5. har sinai was the moment that the physical was able to become spiritual & keep its'' spirituality

6. learn gemara shabbos about the preperations for har sinai [daf 72 (i think)] then ask the question, why didn''t Moshe tell the yidden to do something on Rosh chodesh in preparation for har sinai?

7. see how the chabadniks have been advertising shavout for the past 30 so odd years--A LITTLE CHASSIDUS (NOT KABALA) IS A MINIATURE HAR SINAI REVELATION--

8. ''60''s &70''s approach: BE HERE NOW-SINCE WE WERE ALL THERE THEN


(5) SHMUEL, June 3, 2008 3:28 PM

A Shavuot perspective

Excuse my orthodox perspective, but after all I am an observant Jew.

Shavuot is bereft of the physical items other holidays have. Passover has its matzoh, Succoth its outside huts, Chanukah its menorah. Shavuot has nothing. Nothing but the Torah. Perhaps we are meant to rededicate and recommit ourselves on that day.

Many people have the custom of staying up an entire first night to study Torah. Whether by themselves, with a partner, or in a class, Jews have for centuries immersed themselves in Torah that night. Every year I feel the same way. In the morning, I am exhausted, bereft of physical strength and emotional stamina. Sometimes, in some communities, there is short singing and dancing as study is concluded. We join together, sans intellect, with only our raw and true feelings, thanking G-d for his precious gift of Torah and the opportunity we have to edify and distinguish our lives by its means. There is no thinking any more at this time – we are all too tired. There is only emotion, sometimes accompanied by tears of joy. Without the strength of emotional walls we generally build about ourselves, true feelings can flow. The night has melted our defenses.

As prayer begins, I realize that I have preceded the chirping of the birds. My praise of
G-d has come first. What a feeling! To a sleepy world, we stand ready to proclaim G-d''s majesty and precious gift to us. The special Torah reading again strengthens my resolution. I go home to sleep, observing how most people are scurrying in the other direction, to get to work on time, as I walk home unhurriedly, feeling the freedom that the Rabbis described for one who occupies himself with Torah.

By 7:00 AM , I''m usually home. My wife wants to be woken up then, so we can share kiddush and she can inquire how the night went. The response is always the same. It''s hard to make it through a whole night. I''m getting older and it''s just difficult to study that long. I don''t know about next year. But next year, I do it again. I want to be part of it. I want to be together with the young kids, adults, and Holocaust survivor who make it through the night. I want to be ready to proclaim again in the morning, together with all of them, that I dedicate myself, as my ancestors did, to the Torah. Young and old, tired and strong – all standing before G-d as one. Just like at Mount Sinai.

(4) NesanelS, June 3, 2008 2:42 PM

Appreciated! - Maybe just talk about this point

It is interesting that the mitzvo-commandment of the concept of celebrating Shavuos, is actually a Torah commandment, besides the holiday itself, but here is a commandment to not forget and to tell over the great happenings by Sinai. As a matter of fact, it is a mitzvo to say it each day (one of the ''6 Remembrances'' - mitzvos to remember 6 points - and ''to remember'' means to say them each day.
One of them is to remember Sinai. And R'' Matisyahu Salomon SHLIT"A in Lakewood says over always from the RMB"M Maimonides, that ''Moses did not infuse Israel with the understanding and faith in the Creator through the Plagues and other miracles, because with miracles, it is always possible some sorcerer will come along and try to refute them. Only [if so what were they for?] he did them as for the call of the hour. They were supposed to be punished, to be drowned in the sea and so he did so upon the commandment of HASH-M.
But with what did he instill the knowledge of The Creator? Through the great revelation at Sinai!!! -Very interesting.
And, in other words, the key is that it is passed down from generation to generation, and, as I understand, that by seeing Divine Providence fr good or heaven forbid the opposite, and by seeing how everything ''connects'' and ''ticks'' we realize how special mankind is and in the keeping of the Torah.
Now, it is interesting to note the way that the Torah says to remember the revelation @ Sinai.
The Torah says, "Only guard for yourself and watch your life very carefully, lest you forget the things which your eyes saw and lest you remove from your heart all the days of your life, and you should make them known to your children and to you children''s children, the day that you stood in front of Hash-m you ''Eloka'' at Chorev."
So it is very interesting that the Torah says it with such a clear and strong method of how careful and involved a Jew should be in remembering the events of Sinai. (And this is besides the cheesecake – that''s a separate commandment, as we mentioned!)

(3) Yaakov Novograd, June 2, 2008 11:44 PM

Promoting Shavuot and Torah with "The 48 Ways to Wisdom"

On the one hand, how can we properly get the word out with just a few days ''til Shavuot (especially when "shavuot" means "weeks" which seems to tell us that the extent of this Holiday''s significance depends upon our building up to it for the seven weeks that lead up to Shavuot).... On the other hand, why not try spreading the word and begin giving attention to next year''s Shavuot?! You may have heard that some people study one of the "48 Ways to Wisdom" on each day, and then review them all on the last day, of these seven weeks. Well, I''ve heard it might be better to work on 1 of the 48 each week (the Jewish calendar year contains 50 weeks) and then you''ve got 2 weeks left before next Shavuot for review! Might be something to think about. *find that phenomenal series under "Spirituality" on or in the original Mishna 6 of Chapter 6 in Pirkei Avos with it''s essential, beautiful and inspirational commentaries.

(2) ross, June 1, 2008 8:11 AM

Rated 5-stars, says the NYTimes!

How about an IMAX production complete with special sound effects--the deafening shofar blast, the quaking mountain, and the astounding sight(!) of crashing thunder (what an effect that would be!) What would the Voice sound like? A nation accepting the Holy Torah with a united proclamation of Naaseh V''Nishmah! I''m tingling all over! Pass the popcorn, please.

(1) Rosen, June 1, 2008 6:59 AM

what''s recognized

Perhaps many Jews assume that Yom Kippur is the most important holiday in the Jewish calendar so that we can atone for our sins and shortcomings. When I was in a reform Jewish Sunday school class, that is what they taught. Now that I am growing older and wiser, I am becoming more of a conservative Jew, and have realized that Shavuot seems very low-key. It''s sad that most secular people will want to practice someone who lived 2000 years ago thinking he died for our sins, when there may really be no such thing because it does not make perfect sense. This is what was diluted from Jewish texts and pagan roots from how animal sacrifices were made...Shavuot seems like a very underrated holiday, but I''m not sure how we would go about celebrating it, except for expressing our love for Hashem. Rabbi Soloman mentioned this last year, on how it is a holiday where the Jewish people were unified after 2 million of them saw G-d''s clear, impartial presence at Sinai.

Maybe one reason why Shavuot is not so recognized is probably because it''s around the same time of the anniversary of the establishment of Israel, not to mention that the Jewish state has been revived for the past 60 years.

...On another note, since pres. candidate Obama quit the United Church of Christ yesterday, this may be one step forward to him understanding that he can grab the shirt of tassle of a Jew and say, "lead me, for I have heard G-d is with you" so he could follow the 7 universal Noahide laws. Many Christian priests and ministers give too fiery rants of a sermon, and I have never seen any Rabbi in shul yell and rant about what is right with G-d.


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