MOSCOW, May 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The Moscow Jewish community center celebrated Shavuot, a holiday that began as a harvest festival but also commemorated the revelation at Sinai and the giving of the Torah, on Sunday. Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar delivered a lecture and congratulated the audience on the holiday.
Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, is the second of the three major festivals with both historical and agricultural significance (the other two are Passover and Sukkot). Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai. Shavuot is also sometimes known as Pentecost, because it falls on the 50th day. The holiday is not tied to a particular calendar date, but to a counting from Passover. This year it is marked on May 27-28. Traditionally, homes and synagogues are decorated with flowers. It is the only holiday when dairy foods are a traditional item on the menu.