Shavuot is here! For those wanting a quick refresher on the holiday, here’s a 2-minute Q&A to curb your curiosity.
Q) “What’s Shavuot?”
A) Shavuot, AKA: “Feast of the Weeks”, is a two-day holiday celebrated 50 days after the first Passover seder (this year, it goes from sundown on May 19 to sundown on May 21), marking the end of the 50 day counting period between the two holidays. It is believed that the Torah was given to Moses on Mount Sinai on Shavuot more than 3,300 years ago. To celebrate, it is customary to stay up all night long learning Torah. This is called a Tikkun Leil Shavuot. In recent years, many Jews have started to reimagine Shavuot…engaging not only with traditional Torah texts, but also with more contemporary texts and art. Learn more.
Q) “Do I get the day off work for this?”
A) Technically, we’re not supposed to work on Shavuot. We’re supposed to rest, eat a lot of dairy products (get those Lactaid pills ready), and dive into hardcore Torah study. But, how you choose to celebrate is ultimately up to you.
Q) “Do I have to fast for this one?”
A) Fret not. Rather than fasting, Shavuot involves eating a lot of cheesecake and milkshakes. There’s several reasons for eating dairy meals on this holiday, here’s a few.
Sound like a holiday you could get into? Why not start this year? Here’s some fun Shavuot happenings across DC this month:
Saturday, May 19
- The TEN: An Alternative Shavuot Experience at Sixth & I
- Shavuot @ Adas Israel
- Shavuot @ Kesher Israel
- MoisheX Talks (Shavuot Learning) @ Moishe House Columbia Heights
- Shavuot with Bet Mishpachah and TLS
Sunday, May 20
Food for Shavuot
- Our Picks for the Top 5 Places for Cheesecake in DC
- Shavuot Recipes from Federation’s Jewish Food Experience
- 31 Drool Worthy Cheesecake Recipes for Shavuot (via The Nosher)
- Shavuot, without Cheese (via Tablet)
- Recipes for a Dairy-Free Shavuot (via Federation’s Jewish Food Experience)
- 27 Shavuot Recipe Ideas