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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Shavuot: Chag v’Chesed

by Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on July 5, 2016)
Topics: Tzedakah & Social Justice, Moadim/Holidays, Shavuot

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The holiday of Shavuot is generally assumed to commemorate the giving of the Torah, which occurred on the sixth of Sivan. In the Torah, however, Shavuot is only described as an agricultural holiday and occurs not on any particular calendrical date, but at the culmination of seven weeks from the beginning of the harvest season that occurs on the second day of Pesach. Shavuot is chag hakatzir, the holiday of harvest, and is closely linked to Sukkot, chag ha’asif, the holday of the ingathering of the crops. These are the two holidays on which the Torah commands us to be joyous–v’semachta lifnei Hashem–“and you shall be joyous before God” (Deuteronomy 16:11) and v’semachta bi’chagekha, “and you shall be joyous on your festivals (Deuteronomy 16:14), respectively…

This article was originally published for the AJWS “Chag v’Chesed” series. To read the full article, click here.