Shavuot (literally “Weeks”) marks the conclusion of the seven week period of counting that begins on the second night of Passover. The two-day holiday is also called Zeman Matan Torateinu, the Season When Our Torah Was Given, as it marks the time when Moses received the commandments at Sinai. Shavuot is also an agricultural holiday, marking the beginning of the summer season. It is traditional on the first night of Shavuot to stay up all night studying Torah, almost as a reenactment of the preparations at Sinai. Liturgical additions include the reading of the Book of Ruth on the recitation of Yizkor memorial prayers on the second day of the festival.
At B’nai Israel, our annual Tikkun Leyl Shavuot (Evening of Study) is often accompanied by a festival dinner with traditional dairy foods. Members of the congregation lead study sessions on various topics and the evening is dedicated to the memories of Rabbi Henry and Yetta Segal. On Shavuot, our congregation also celebrates Confirmation, which recognizes the commitment of our tenth-graders to ongoing Jewish study in the Talmud Torah Upper School.