Shavuot: Finding Purpose

Question

Is there any special mitzvah to fulfill on the festival of Shavuot? Like matzah on Passover? Thanks

2 years

Answers

  1. Good question. Technically there isn’t one, but there’s a very good explanation for this. The “special mitzvah” of this festival is “to receive the Torah” — which is in fact the cornerstone and foundation for every single mitzvah there is.

    Shavuot is the anniversary God spoke to the entire Jewish nation at Mount Sinai. At that time, God gave the Torah to the Jewish People. In so doing He revealed our national mission and purpose. In our prayers on Shavuot we make reference to this. We call Shavuot “Zman Matan Torateinu” — the time of the Giving of our Torah.

    Unlike all the other holidays no particular mitzvah is associated with Shavuot. On Passover we eat matzah, on Succot we dwell in a succah and on Rosh Hashanah we blow the shofar — but no specific mitzvah is related to the giving of the Torah. This is because Shavuot celebrates the totality of Torah. The Torah is all encompassing. It sanctifies and elevates every aspect of life. It cannot be encapsulated in any single ritual or any one experience.

    On all festivals the spiritual light that originally encompassed the world on the first occasion of that festival (for instance, the very first Passover) flows again every year at that same time. This increased spirituality is available to us if we are attuned to it.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team