During the course of the holiday we don’t go to work, drive, write, or switch on or off electric devices. We are permitted to cook, to kindle a stove with a flame that existed before the holiday (or which was lit from such a flame), and to carry outdoors.

 

Shabbat,
Sivan 5—May 19

Shavuot eve

It is customary to decorate synagogues and homes with flowers and boughs .All decorations must be done on Friday before the onset of Shabbat.

The holiday of Shavuot begins tonight.

Women and girls light candles tonight to usher in the holiday. Click here for candle-lighting times in your city, and click here for the blessings one recites while lighting.

After the holiday evening prayers, a festive holiday meal, complete with the recitation of the holiday kiddush, is enjoyed. Being that it is Saturday night, special additions are inserted to mark the end of the Shabbat.

On this night it is customary to remain awake and study Torah until dawn.

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Sunday,
Sivan 6—May 20

First day of Shavuot
Torah reading: Exodus 19:1–20:23; Numbers 28:26–31
Haftorah: Ezekiel 1:1–28; 3:12

Reading of the Ten Commandments.

All men, women and children should go to the synagogue to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments. Click here to find a synagogue near you.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, encouraged the bringing of even the youngest of children to the reading of the Ten Commandments in the synagogue on Shavuot. This is in commemoration of the Jewish people declaring: “Our children are our guarantors [that we will keep the Torah].” This, the Midrash states, was the only guarantee acceptable to G‑d.

The priests bless the congregation with the Priestly Blessing during the Musaf prayer.

Many communities chant the Akdamut poem before the reading of the Torah.

Kiddush is recited, and a holiday meal follows.

It is customary to eat dairy foods today. Click here for delicious dairy recipes.

Candle-lighting, from a pre-existing flame, after nightfall. Click here for candle-lighting times in your city, and and click here for the blessings.

In some communities, whoever will say yizkor tomorrow lights a yahrtzeit candle tonight, also from a pre-existing flame.

After the holiday evening prayers, a festive holiday meal, complete with the recitation of the holiday kiddush, is again enjoyed.

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Monday
Sivan 7—May 21

Second day of Shavuot
Torah reading: Deuteronomy 15:19–16:17; Numbers 28:26–31
Haftarah: Habakkuk 2:20–3:19

The Yizkor memorial service is recited (and charity is pledged) for the souls of departed loved ones.

The priests bless the congregation with the Priestly Blessing during the Musaf prayer.

Kiddush is recited, and a holiday meal follows.

Some communities have the custom to read the Book of Ruth on the second day of Shavuot.

The holiday ends tonight at nightfall. Click here for end of holiday times in your location.