The Torah refers to it simply as the “Holiday of Weeks.” Many contemporary Jews have never even heard of this holiday. Yet the holiday of Shavuot celebrates what may be the most important event in Judaism: the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Why does the Torah neglect to mention this most crucial detail—the reason for the celebration?

With its silence, the Torah is telling us something important about the giving of the Torah. Divine revelation is not specific to a particular time and place in our history. There is no one day a year designated to celebrate the Divine revelation, because Divine revelation occurs every time we open and study the Torah. Indeed, in the blessing before reading the Torah, we refer to G‑d as “the one who gives the Torah.” Note that “gives” is in the present tense, conveying that G‑d is continuously giving us the Torah.

The Torah is silent about the date of the most important event in the history of mankind in order to teach us that anytime we open the Torah, G‑d is speaking to us directly, personally.

What then do we commemorate on Shavuot, the Holiday of Weeks?

Unlike the Holiday of Matzot and the Holiday of Sukkot, its name does not describe the way we celebrate the holiday. Rather, it describes the lead-up to the holiday, the obligation to count seven weeks in anticipation of and preparation for the giving of the Torah. Although G‑d speaks to us every time we open the book, sometimes we fail to perceive the power of the experience. We are tuned out spiritually, distracted by day-to-day life. We are like an unplowed field being showered with rain: The rain has the power to bring forth growth, but the earth is too rough to accept the water.

So G‑d commands us to designate some time for spiritual refinement, to count 49 days, to understand that G‑d wants to talk to us and that we must tune in if we are to benefit from the experience. Finally, on the 50th day, on the anniversary of the giving of the Torah, after all the preparation, every Jew can finally feel it: Yes, G‑d is talking to me, personally.

In the final analysis, the 50th day is unique because of the preparation, the weeks of counting. Hence the name “Holiday of Weeks.” The actual revelation, however, happens every time we read the Torah.