Dairy Foods

Why is it customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot? Some derive the practice directly from scripture, saying we eat dairy to symbolize the "land flowing with milk and honey" promised to the Israelites, or that "milk and honey are under your tongue" (Song of Songs 4:11). Try this custom out this year—Shavuot begins at sunset on May 23 and ends on the evening of May 25.

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Shavuot 101

Shavuot 101

Brush up on the basics of Shavuot.

Celebrate Shavuot At Home

No Jewish laws govern home practices on Shavuot, but there is a custom to eat cheese.

Shavuot In the Community

Some of the customs associated with Shavuot display remnants of an agricultural tradition.

Themes and Theology

Shavuot is a festival that highlights the fundamental truth of the Torah.

Shavuot For Kids

A revelation they'll beg for year after year.


Dairy Foods

Dairy Foods

A survey of the many explanations given for the tradition of eating milk products.


Cream cheese pancakes.


A very dairy treat.

Cheese Lokshen Kugel

This deliciously creamy noodle dish is a specialty of Shavuot.


Cream cheese cookies.

Traditions & Rituals

Few Rituals

Few Rituals

The focus of the holiday is theological.

The Book of Ruth

A special reading for Shavuot.


A modern addition to Shavuot.

Nighttime Learning

The all-nighter is an observance that developed on Shavuot.

The Ten Commandments

The division and structure has been open to interpretation throughout history.




In all likelihood Shavuot was not celebrated until after the first Temple was built.

Biblical Shavuot

The nature of the festival changes over the course of time.

Shavuot in the Rabbinic Period

Shavuot takes on a new name and meaning.

Medieval Shavuot

Historical events and the development of mysticism leave their mark on this festival.

Modern Shavuot Observances

New ceremonies and rituals are introduced.

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