June is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the beginning of the grain harvest in Israel.
The holiday, revered by Jews, has its origin in the Bible. It is said the Jewish people were given the Torah on Mount Sinai by God. This is blessing was an essential episode in the formation of the religion. In the XVII century, a Torah scroll was discovered that was written by adherents of Judaism in Yemen. Shavuot is an ancient tradition the Jewish people have preserved for centuries.
The word Shavuot translates as weeks.
- Passover, marking the departure of the oppressed Jews from Ancient Egypt and the Pharaoh’s tyranny, is 49 days or 7 weeks away from Shavuot.
- Jews prepare for Shavuot by decorating their house with incense, greenery, and flowering plants, emphasizing the connection with the celebration of harvest day.
- On the eve of this holiday, called Shavuot Night Watch, Jews refuse to sleep, studying the sacred texts and preparing for revelation.
The festive symbol is a basket in gold or silver. Inside, they place seeds of grain crops as a sign of fertility and an absence of hunger.
How to take part
- This is not a day for work. The day is dedicated to going to the synagogue, listening to sermons, and strict observance of the commandments immortalized on the tablets.
- Fun celebrations are encouraged with a richly laid table of various dishes bestowed by nature. Believers and those interested in Judaism read the Book of Ruth, that tells of the faith of a woman at a spiritual crossroads.
- There are dairy products and other dishes on the festive table: casseroles, desserts with butter, cream, and pancakes.
- Light candles on the solemn night, as a symbol of wise words and a connection with God.
When is Shavuot celebrated in 2024?