Al Learns About Shavuot

Rita Toomey's favorite holiday, Shavuot, is coming up -- but her trusty audio engineer Al, doesn't know much about it. While Rita and Al video chat, they make cheesecakes for Shavuot and talk about Rita's favorite traditions and customs. 

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In ancient times, during the springtime holiday of Shavuot, the first fruits of the harvest were offered up to God in the Temple in Jerusalem.
The holiday of Shavuot also celebrates the giving of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) at Mount Sinai. One legend says that when God gave the Torah at Mount Sinai, no bird twittered, no cow mooed, the whole world was silent to hear the words of the Ten Commandments. On Shavuot it’s traditional to go to synagogue to hear the Ten Commandments read aloud (sorry, no pets allowed), and many people stay up all night learning Torah together.

Make a Shavuot Craft
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Learn more about Why Shavuot is the Perfect Holiday for Kids


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Episode Notes

Seven weeks after Passover ends, it’s time to celebrate Shavuot. This holiday marks the biblical story of receiving the Ten Commandments and the Torah at Mt. Sinai. While many families don’t regularly celebrate Shavuot, it’s a holiday that’s totally made for kids –a perfect excuse for sleepovers, flower picking, ice cream socials, and lots of other fun activities.

Although Shavuot was originally a harvest holiday, today people celebrate the day by studying the Torah, staying up all night, crafting paper cut-outs, eating local foods, and of course, indulging in cheesecake and blintzes (scroll down to the videos section to learn why). The tie-in to the Torah and Ten Commandments also make Shavuot a perfect opportunity to reinforce so many of the values that parents are already imparting to their children: telling the truth, honoring others, and sharing.


Episode Credits

Have I Got a Story For You is a production of PJ Library

Executive producers: Meredith Lewis, Alli Thresher
Director: Alli Thresher
Additional production: Craig Rossein
Website design: Christina Rizer
Audio editing, mixing and mastering: Peter Moore
Score: Peter Moore
Recorded at Palace of Purpose Studios in Malden, MA.
Cover art: Barb Bastian

This episode was written by Alli Thresher


Narrator, Rita Toomey: Madelaine Ripley
Al: Rich Wentworth