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The Legends and Customs
of Shavuot

spacerMany of the traditions and customs of Shavuot have evolved from the legends and stories describing the experiences of the Israelites at Mount Sinai. According to tradition the Israelites actually overslept on the morning of G-d's visit. To compensate for this negligence, Jews hold a vigil on the eve of Shavuot. They stay awake from dusk to dawn, keeping themselves busy with the readings of the Torah and the Talmud. A digest of readings has evolved called Tikkun Leil Shavuot, the "Restoration of Shavuot Eve," which includes selections from the Torah, the Prophets, the Talmud, and the Zohar.

spacerAnother Shavuot custom is the eating of dairy foods. One explanation states that this comes from a passage in the Torah which reads:

"And He gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey".

spacerAnother explanation comes from a legend stating that before the visit from G-d the Jews did not keep kosher or follow the Kashrut (dietary) laws. It was on this first Shavuot that they found out that their utensils were nonkosher and thus unfit for use. So finding themselves without kosher meats or utensils the Israelites were forced to eat only dairy foods. Today Jews celebrate Shavuot by eating blintzes, cheesecake, and other dairy dishes.

spacerAnother legend tells the story of the Israelites finding Mount Sinai blooming and lush with greenery and flowers. From this legend grew the custom to decorate the Jewish home and synagogue with tree branches and flowers. Some temples decorate the Torah scrolls with wreaths of roses.





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Elizabeth Kreide from Europe
12:43 05/17/2010
 
Dear Madam / Sir , I'd like to learn more about the most celebrated Jewish festivals . Would you please let me know about websites that you find particularly interesting ? Thanks in advance . God bless you . All the very best from Elizabeth Kreide.
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gwendoline lamb from United Kingdom (Great Britain)
09:52 04/04/2010
 
I`m very interested in Akdomus and who wrote it and if it is Aramaic?? Thanks



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