Out of respect for the sanctity of the holiday (Saturday evening, June 4-6, 2022), please print out this holiday guide before the onset of the holiday, and keep it handy throughout the holiday for reference purposes.

What Is Shavuot (Shavuos)?

The holiday of Shavuot is a two-day holiday, beginning at sundown following the 5th of Sivan and lasting until nightfall of the 7th of Sivan (June 4-6, 2022). In Israel it is a one-day holiday, ending at nightfall of the 6th of Sivan.

What Shavuot Commemorates

The word Shavuot (or Shavuos) means “weeks.” It celebrates the completion of the seven-week Omer counting period between Passover and Shavuot.

The Torah was given by G‑d to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai on Shavuot more than 3,300 years ago. Every year on the holiday of Shavuot we renew our acceptance of G‑d’s gift, and G‑d “re-gives” the Torah.

The giving of the Torah was a far-reaching spiritual event—one that touched the essence of the Jewish soul for all times. Our sages have compared it to a wedding between G‑d and the Jewish people. Shavuot also means “oaths,” for on this day G‑d swore eternal devotion to us, and we in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him. Learn more about the giving of the Torah and what it means to us today.

In ancient times, two wheat loaves would be offered in the Holy Temple on Shavuot. It was also at this time that people would begin to bring bikkurim, their first and choicest fruits, to thank G‑d for Israel’s bounty. Learn about bikkurim here.

How Is Shavuot Celebrated?

Click here for more about Shavuot.

Hear the Ten Commandments on Shavuot

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, as did 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.

What are the 10 Commandments?

This year, on Sunday, June 5, 2022, go to your local synagogue to hear the Ten Commandments and reaffirm the covenant with G‑d and His Torah.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—explained that there is special significance to bringing children, even the youngest of infants, to hear the Ten Commandments on Shavuot morning.

Find a friendly synagogue service near you

Before G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people, He demanded guarantors. The Jews made a number of suggestions, all rejected by G‑d, until they declared, “Our children will be our guarantors that we will cherish and observe the Torah.” G‑d immediately accepted them and agreed to give the Torah.

“By listening to the Ten Commandments on Shavuot morning,” the Rebbe explained, “the words of Torah will be engraved in the hearts and minds of the children. And through them, the Torah will be etched within their parents and grandparents with even greater intensity. Thus, the Ten Commandments, which include within them the entire Torah, will become a part of our lives throughout the entire year.”

Thanks to the Rebbe’s urging, Shavuot at the synagogue, replete with ice-cream parties and games, is an increasingly popular part of Jewish childhood.

Let us make sure to bring along all our “guarantors” to the synagogue on the first day of Shavuot.

Find a friendly synagogue service near you

Shavuot Calendar 2022

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—June 4

Shavuot eve (Erev Shavuot)

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.

After Shabbat has ended, 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.

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

 

Sunday,
Sivan 6—June 5

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, before 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.


 

Monday
Sivan 7—June 6

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.

Candle-Lighting Blessings

For both evenings of the holiday:

  1. Bah-rookh ah-tah ah-doh-noi eh-loh-hay-noo meh-lekh hah-oh-lahm ah-sher ki-deh-shah-noo beh-mitz-voh-tahv veh-tzee-vah-noo leh-hahd-lik nehr shehl (shah-baht vih-shehl) yohm tohv.
    בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲ-דֹנָי- אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל (שַׁבָּת וְשֶׁל) יוֹם טוֹב
    Translation: Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the (Shabbat and) holiday light.

  2. Bah-rookh ah-tah ah-doh-noi eh-loh-hay-noo meh-lekh hah-oh-lahm sheh-heh-kheh-yah-noo veh-kee-mah-noo ve-hih-gee-ah-noo liz-mahn hah-zeh
    בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲ-דֹנָי אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לִזְמַן הַזֶּה
    Translation: Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.


Useful Shavuot Links:

Shavuot Mega-Site

Global Shavuot Event Finder

The Story of Shavuot

10 Tips for Your Second Shavuot at Home

Shavuot Personalities

7 Lessons From Ruth About Living With Purpose

11 Shavuot Myths and Misconceptions

Shavuot Kids’ Zone

Traditional Shavuot Recipes

Shavuot Audio Classes, Videos and Songs