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Holiday of Shavuot Ends Monday Night in Israel

The Biblical holiday of Shavuot, celebrated for one day in Israel and two days elsewhere, begins Sunday night. It marks Israel's acceptance of the Torah at Mt. Sinai on this day 3, 317 years ago.
First Publish: 6/12/2005, 10:19 AM / Last Update: 6/12/2005, 12:30 PM

Shavuot is one of the three festivals on which Jews are commanded to "go up" to the Holy Temple, which stood on what is today the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

It is celebrated the day following the completion of the counting of the 49 days of the Omer period, which begins on the second day of Passover. This seven-week period marks the Jewish People's transition from slaves in Egypt to a nation worthy of receiving the Holy Torah. Many Jews commemorate the day by studying Torah all night, and synagogues and yeshivot all around the world hold special classes throughout the night.

In Jerusalem, there is a widespread custom of going to the Western Wall for the morning prayers, beginning shortly before 5 AM. Thousands of people mark the Shavuot prayers at the Wall with dancing and singing.

The theme-packed holiday also features the public reading of the Book of Ruth; the fulfillment of the Biblical commandment to bring one's first fruits to Jerusalem; King David, who died on this day; and the custom of eating dairy foods.

Shavuot in Israel is a legal holiday, with no public transportation, school, newspapers, and the like.

For more information on the holiday of Shavuot, please see:
"http://www.bus.ualberta.ca/yreshef/pesach/shavuintro.html"
"http://www.ou.org/chagim/shavuot/default.htm"
"http://www.torah.org/learning/yomtov/shavuos/"

For a complete list of Shavuot-related sites, see "http://www.jr.co.il/hotsites/j-hdaysh.htm".