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Shavuot 2024 begins on the evening of Tuesday, June 11, and ends with nightfall on Thursday, June 13

Shavuot • שבועות

The Giving of the Torah

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What is Shavuot?

Shavuot is a 2-day holiday commemorating when G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish nation at Mount Sinai, over 3,300 years ago. Each Shavuot, we relive the experience of receiving the Torah.


We celebrate by reading the Aseret Hadibrot, the 10 Commandments, which reaffirms our acceptance of the Torah and its laws.

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How can I celebrate?

On Shavuot, we celebrate the deeply personal, authentic, and intimate bond that each of us has with our Creator. When G-d presented the Torah, it wasn’t just to the leaders or elders; He revealed His presence to each and every individual present.


The main component of Shavuot, the star of the show, is the 10 Commandments; in Hebrew called the Aseret Hadibrot. When it’s not possible to hear them being read, you can still read through them on Shavuot day.


Accepting the Torah on Shavuot is a personal experience, just like our relationship with G-d.

Talk to Him about anything; He loves to hear from you.

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Holiday Customs

Shavuot is a holiday with many unique traditions and customs. Here are several which are celebrated by Jews around the world each year:

  • Eating dairy dishes. Once our ancestors accepted the Torah with its laws of kosher, they were no longer able to eat the meat they had previously prepared. Their solution: dairy!

  • Staying awake the 1st night of Shavuot, studying Torah.

  • Decorating one's space with flowers and greenery. Although Mount Sinai was a nondescript mountain in the midst of a desert, when G-d gave the Torah it suddenly blossomed with flowers and greenery. Because of this, many have the custom to enhance their surroundings with flowers for the holiday.

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The 10 Commandments

עשרת הדברות

1.אָנֹכִי ה' אֱלֹקיךָ

2. לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים

3. לֹא תִשָּׂא אֶת שֵׁם ה' אֱלֹקיךָ לַשָּׁוְא

4. זָכוֹר אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ


5. כַּבֵּד אֶת אָבִיךָ וְאֶת אִמֶּךָ


6. לֹא תִרְצַח


7. לֹא תִנְאָף


8. לֹא תִגְנֹב


9. לֹא תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עֵד שָׁקֶר


10. לֹא תַחְמֹד

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1. I am the L‑rd your G‑d.

2. You shall have no other gods before Me.


3. You shall not take the name of the L‑rd your G‑d in vain.


4. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.

5. Honor your father and mother.

6. You shall not murder.


7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.


9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.


10. You shall not covet.

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Shavuot: It's About Our Unity

“Israel camped there by the mountain.” Exodus 19:2.

“They camped like a single person with a single heart.” Rashi ad loc.


The Jews are a diverse people of many minds and opinions, fond of dispute for the sake of heaven. It is a strategy that has stood them well, fostering wisdom and resilience throughout their long history.

At times, the heavenliness may vacate the discussion. The dispute is then prone to erupt into anger and rage, tearing the people apart into stubborn factions, weakening the integrity of the whole.

It is then that their enemy may take advantage of this rupture with a vicious attack.

In response to the crisis, the people become one again. The rupture is healed, and the enemy is swiftly vanquished.

One may imagine that this phenomenon of unity under duress is a chimera, a mere artifact imposed by external circumstances.

Not so, says Rashi, the wise teacher who teaches Torah to every Jew, tucking precious jewels of wisdom within the cloak of his simple commentary.

When Pharaoh and his entire army came chasing after the Jews as they were entrapped by the Sea of Reeds, the Torah writes only that “Pharaoh approached.” Rashi explains that the Egyptians came with one heart, as though they were a single person.

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Note the nuance: First the heart, then the person. Meaning: Their hearts were driven by the same greed, so they acted as a single person.

When the Jewish nation camped before Mount Sinai, the Torah refers to the entire nation in the singular—unlike all other encampments. Rashi explains that they camped there like one person, with one heart.

First the person, then the heart.

The Jewish people are truly a single being. That integral oneness may surface through many means, an unfortunate circumstance being one of them.

But if we want that oneness and harmony of a multitude of parts to last, there is only one way.

When our hearts are open to receive G‑d's Torah from wherever it may come, with humility and with joy, only then are we a healthy and whole people.

Likutei Sichot vol. 21, Yitro 1.

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Looking for more?

Contact us to request a visit with a local Chabad rabbi, or click below to explore more about the holiday where it all began.

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Wishing you a healthy and joyous Shavuot!

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