Shavuot means “weeks,” and it refers to the Biblical Holiday celebrated on Sivan 6 (and 7 in the Diaspora) on the anniversary of the giving of the Torah at Sinai. The word Shavuot (or Shavuos) means “weeks.” It celebrates the completion of the seven-week Omer counting period between the second day of Passover and Shavuot.

The same Hebrew word also means “oaths,” which is the subject of the Talmudic tractate of Shavuot.

Shavuot is also the celebration of the wheat harvest and the ripening of the first fruits, which is the reason for the other two biblical names for this holiday: 1) "Yom Habikkurim" or the "Day of the First Fruits." 2) "Chag HaKatzir," the "Harvest Festival."

In the Talmud, Shavuot is also called "Atzeret," which means "The Stoppage," a reference to the prohibition against work on this holiday.

In the holiday prayer service, we refer to it as “Zeman Matan Torahteinu,” the "Time of the Giving of Our Torah."

Learn more about what Shavuot commemorates and how it is celebrated