SHAVUOT QUIZ How much do you know about this Spring holiday?

Question 1

  Let’s put Shavuot into context:  it is the festival that comes after Passover.  How many days separate the two holidays (if your count begins at the second night’s Passover seder)? 

  1. 35
  2. 18
  3. 40 days and 40 nights
  4. 49

Question 2

  The seven week period between Passover and Shavuot which we count one day at a time is called the Counting of the _______?

  1. Bible
  2. Omer
  3. Mitzvot
  4. Commandments

Question 3

  Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals in the Jewish holiday cycle.  What are the other two?

  1. Passover and Sukkot
  2. Hanukkah and Sukkot
  3. Passover and Purim
  4. Passover and Rosh Hashanah

Question 4

  What type of food is it customary to eat during Shavuot?

  1. Meat
  2. Matzah
  3. Potato latkes
  4. Dairy

Question 5

  What does Shavuot commemorate?

  1. The oil lasting for eight nights
  2. The birthday of the world
  3. The Israelites being freed from bondage in Egypt
  4. Receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai

Question 6

  What is it customary to do on Shavuot?  

  1. Celebrate with flowers
  2. Scatter greenery and plant life around the synagogue
  3. Read the Book of Ruth
  4. All of the above

Question 7

  Shavuot is sometimes referred to as the Festival of _____?

  1. Lights
  2. Harvest
  3. First Fruits
  4. Ballooning

Question 8

   What does the name of the Jewish holiday Shavuot literally mean?

  1. Weeks
  2. Obligations
  3. Exodus
  4. Revolt

Question 9

  How long does the Jewish holiday Shavuot last?

  1. 7 days in Israel, 8 days outside of Israel
  2. 1 day in Israel, 2 days outside of Israel
  3. 5 days in Israel, 6 days outside of Israel 
  4. 10 days in Israel, 11 days outside of Israel

Question 10

   On Shavuot it is customary to stay up all night and _____?

  1. Hike up a mountain
  2. Go to a concert
  3. Study the Torah
  4. Dress up in costume

Answer Key:  Question 1 (#4); Question 2 (#2); Question 3 (#1); Question 4 (#4); Question 5  (#4); Question 6 (#4); Question 7 (#3); Question 8 (#1); Question 9 (#2); Question 10 (#3)


What is Shavuot?

The holiday of Shavuot is a two-day holiday, beginning at sundown of the 5th day of the month of Sivan on the Hebrew calendar and lasting until nightfall of the 7th day of Sivan (May 28–30, 2020).  In Israel it is a one-day holiday, ending at nightfall of the 6th day of Sivan. 

The word Shavuot (or Shavuos) literally means “weeks.”  It celebrates the completion of the seven-week Omer counting period between Passover and Shavuot.  Literally translated, omer means “a sheaf.”  It refers to the measure of grain that was once offered at the Temple in Jerusalem.  The counting of the Omer links the two holidays together by marking the days traveled from Egypt to Mount Sinai.  Shavuot originally began as a harvest festival.  The Book of Ruth is read on Shavuot because its events take place during the Harvest.  The holiday is one of the three pilgrimmage festivals of the Bible when the ancient Israelites living in the Kingdom of Judah would harvest their first fruits and make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem with these fruits.  Shavuot is sometimes referred to as the Festival of First Fruits.

In addition to the harvest, Shavuot also commemorates the day on which the Torah was given by G‑d to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago.  Some people stay up all night, or very late, studying Torah. This custom evolved from a story that says that when the Israelites were at Sinai, they overslept and had to be awakened by Moses to receive the Torah. So, to make amends many modern Jews stay up all night, or go late into the evening, to study and celebrate receiving the Torah. These events, known as Tikkun Leil Shavuot, which literally means “Rectification for Shavuot Night,” are understood as the custom of studying with a community to once again experience standing at Mount Sinai, where the Jewish people received the Torah. 

It is customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot; most typically blintzes or cheesecake.  Dairy foods are a reminder of the sweetness of Torah and that the Torah calls the land of Israel a land “flowing with milk and honey”.

For more information please contact: Esther Fendrick, 

Director of Jewish Outreach & Programming at 732-494-3232 ext. 3621