Shavuot Is an Opportunity to Recommit to the Covenant, Says Holy Cross Judaic Studies Professor

Alan Avery-Peck, Kraft-Hiatt professor in Judaic studies. Photo by Austin Bosworth

The Conversation

The festival of Shavuot, marked this year on June 5 and 6, celebrates a renewing commitment to God. But the meaning of the Jewish holiday, which dates back to biblical times, has changed over the years.

In an article for The Conversation, Alan Avery-Peck, Kraft-Hiatt Professor in Judaic studies at Holy Cross and a scholar of early Rabbinic Judaism, talks about the agrarian roots of Shavuot, as well as its significant evolution over the centuries.

"Today, rather than primarily marking the harvest, Shavuot observance transports the Jewish community back to Sinai, to symbolically experience the awe of revelation and personally recommit to the covenant," said Avery-Peck.

"In Judaism, community, Torah and the covenant with God create a world of meaning and purpose. The holiday is a reminder that in life, as in study, people do not go it alone."

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