Shavuos: A Hidden Identity

Rabbi Israel Chait

Written by a student

Why does the Torah not mention Shavous as the time of “The Giving of the Torah,” or “The Time of Sinaic Revelation?” (Thats only a rabbinic reference.) Why is this historical event missing and instead, Torah refers to this holiday in terms of the agricultural aspect?

The Ten Commandments—given at Shavuos—carry much weight. Gemara Berachos says that the Jews wished to recite them daily in their prayers. But the rabbis prevented this, as they feared the heretics would tell the Jews, “These are your only commands,” thereby destroying the Torah.

The focus of the Ten Commandments at Shavuos would cause similar damage. People would tend to over-glorify Shavuos to the detriment of all other holidays; they would consider this theme to be the most important one of all. Thereby, they would not view other days as sharing this purpose of Torah study, which is the true focus of all other days.