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The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments


The holiday of Shavuot is the day on which we celebrate the great revelation of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, more than 3,300 years ago. You stood at the foot of the mountain. Your grandparents and great-grandparents before them. The souls of all Jews, from all times, came together to hear the Ten Commandments from G‑d Himself.

This year, on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, go to your local synagogue to hear the Ten Commandments and reaffirm the covenant with G‑d and His Torah.

Since we all stood at Mount Sinai, we must all reaffirm our commitment. Babies, young children, the elderly, all that are able should attend.

Click here to find a synagogue closest to you.

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Rochel Chein for May 30, 2016

Re: Shavuot Passover and Sukkot are parallel holidays, both capped with a short festival which is referred to as Atzeret: Shemini Atzeret follows Sukkot, and Shavuot (also referred to as Atzeret) follows Passover.

Our sages teach, "It would have been fitting that this Atzeret (Shemini Atzeret) also take place fifty days after the festival of Sukkot, just as the Atzeret (Shavuot) comes fifty days after Passover. G‑d said, however: "It is winter and they cannot leave their homes to come here (to Jerusalem). Rather, while they are still here, let them observe the Atzeret" (Tanchuma, Parshat Pinchas). Reply

Anonymous maalot israel May 18, 2016

shavout We observe Pessach and Sukkot for 7 days, But why do we observe Shavuot only 2 days? Reply

Matthew Rand Staten Island, New York May 23, 2012

To Anonymous from Johannesburg Shavuot is significant for Gentiles also, since when Moses received the Torah at Mt. Sinai, it also included what is known as the Noahide Laws, that is, the laws that Gentiles are expected to follow. These are:

1). Do not murder.
2). Do not steal.
3). Do not commit sexual immorality.
4). Do not commit idolatry.
5). Do not commit blasphemy.
6). Establish courts of law.
7). Do not eat the limb of a living animal

These are really categories with very specific laws which spring from these general commands. For example, "Do not eat the limb of a living animal" gets expanded into laws about how to treat animals with kindness. The command not to steal gets expanded into laws about not being lazy at work, (stealing time) and so on. Reply

Bruce Egert Hackensack, NJ June 7, 2011

Shavouous The Ten Commandments are the greatest marketing tool ever devised. The Torah would not have reached as many people had it not been for the magnificent Ten. Reply

Anonymous Bellevue, WA May 19, 2010

Shavuot Festival As always you continue to inspire, teach and re-awaken me as a proud Jew to my Heritage. Thank you for this article as well as all I continue to learn on

My mitzvah is to follow this path of learning, and to continue to contribute both financially through contributions, and orally by telling everyone I know about this great website.

Great Shavuot to you!

Deba Reply

Menachem Posner for June 11, 2008

RE: pregnant Hearing the Ten Commandments is not a mitzvah mentioned in the Torah. Rather it is a time honored custom to make a special effort to ensure that everybody is present at this special Torah reading. If the efforts involved would cause a person great pain, or place them in actual danger, they should not go to the synagogue to hear them. Reply

Anonymous JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA June 10, 2008

SHAVUOT I have only just heard of how Jewish people celebrate this religious holiday. It is truly beautiful. I am Catholic. Reply

Anonymous June 8, 2008

pregnant What about pregnant women who are very close? Is it actually a mitzvah of Rambam's? Can they fulfil the mitzvah by reading the giving of the Torah in a chumash at home? Reply

Anonymous richmond via May 29, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

i believe so yes Reply

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