Shavuot II / שבועות

Shavuot / שבועות 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 God gave the Torah to the entire Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai, although the association between … Continue reading Shavuot II / שבועות

The Holiday of Shavuot

The Holiday of Shavuot On Shavuot, we celebrate the giving of the Torah and the centuries of commentary, debate, and conversation that followed – and continue to this day. For the last several centuries, the printed book was the best medium we had to record, transmit, and engage with Torah. The Torah introduces the momentous event of the giving of the Torah to the Jewish … Continue reading The Holiday of Shavuot

Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments: The Inside Story By Naftali Silberberg The Ten Commandments were engraved on two tablets. The five commandments etched on the first tablet deal with man’s relationship with G‑d; the second tablet contains five commandments which concern man’s relationship with his fellow man. Of the 613 biblical commandments, G‑d selected these ten commandments for special attention. He directly communicated them to the Jews … Continue reading Ten Commandments


OVERVIEW OF THE SPRING FESTIVALS The four spring festivals are Passover (Pesach), Unleavened Bread (Hag HaMatzah), First Fruits (Bikkurim), and the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), or Pentecost. Passover (Pesach) occurs in the first month of the religious calendar (Aviv, also called Nisan), on the fourteenth day, Leviticus (Vayikra) 23:5. Unleavened Bread (Hag HaMatzah) immediately follows the first day of Passover (Pesach). It is observed in … Continue reading SPRING FESTIVALS


The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Hag HaMatzah) is the fifteenth day of the month of Nisan, which is the day following Passover (Pesach). It is a seven-day festival to the L-rd (Leviticus [Vayikra] 23:6-7; Exodus [Shemot] 12:7-8,14-17). On the fifteenth of Nisan and for the next seven days, G-d forbade the people to have any leavened bread in their houses.       The festival of Unleavened Bread … Continue reading Pesach

Shabbat HaGadol

Shabbat HaGadol (“Great Shabbat” שבת הגדול) is the Shabbat immediately before Passover. There is a special Haftarah reading on this Shabbat of the book of Malachi. Traditionally a lengthy and expansive sermon is given to the general community in the afternoon. Various reasons are given for the name of this Shabbat: 1) The Midrash Rabbah states: “When they (the Jewish people) set aside their paschal lamb on that … Continue reading Shabbat HaGadol