Shavuot with the Digital Twist

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The Torah was given by G‑d to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai more than 3300 years ago. Every year on the holiday of Shavuot we renew our acceptance of G‑d’s gift and G‑d “re-gives” the Torah. 

The word Shavuot means “weeks.” It marks the completion of the seven week counting period between  Passover and  Shavuot.

The giving of the Torah was a far-reaching spiritual event—one that touched the essence of the Jewish soul for all times. Our Sages have compared it to a wedding between G‑d and the Jewish people.

Shavuot also means oath and on this day G‑d swore eternal devotion to us, and we in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him.

Customs (basic): Women and girls light holiday candles to usher in the holiday, both on the first and second nights of the holidays. It is customary to stay up all night learning Torah on the first night of  Shavuot. All men, women and children should go to the synagogue on the first day of  Shavuot to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments. As on other holidays, special meals are eaten, and no “work” may be performed. It is customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot. Among other reasons, this commemorates the fact that upon receiving the Torah, including the Kosher laws, the Jewish people could not cook meat in their pots which had yet to be rendered Kosher.  (for more visit

App “Shavuos Guide” provides information on how to celebrate Shavuot, includes holiday guide, study section, thoughts & essays, stories, customes and recipes.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Category: Reference
Released: July 07, 2009 (updated: December 9, 2010)
Publisher: Dovid Zirkind
Price: Free (get app)





 One of the most popular customs on Shavuot is to eat dairy foods such as cheesecake, cheese, blintzes and ice cream.  “Strauss Israel” launches an application “iShavuot (recipes)” with the special recipes designed for this Jewish  Holiday.

The application (Hebrew only) includes:
– a wide variety of festive meals in different styles;
– thousands of receipts for shavout including paste, vegetables and cheeses;
– tips for organizing  the Shavout table;
– an option to crate a shopping list.
You can search a recipe by style or by shaking the device.
Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

Category: Lifestyle
Released: May 04, 2010 (updated: July 20, 2010)
PublisherMoblin Apps
Price: Free (get app)


Davka Coloring Blast is a  lovely coloring book for Jewish children, with an easy-to-use navigation tool for the young ones.  Kids can paint and learn the basic colors, and even Hebrew AlephBeth. While children enjoying coloring images parents can teach them about Jewish holidays from Rosh Hashanah through Shavuot.
Compatible:  iPhone,  iPod Touch,  iPad
Category:  Entertainment
Released: December 18, 2011
Publisher: Davka Corporation
Price: $1.99 (buy app)




Blintzes are a favorite Jewish food. Cheese blintzes are traditionally served for Shavuot. You can learn how to make blintzes from Bubbe.
Feed Me Bubbe is a Jewish cooking show that is produced on a shoe-string budget.
Bubbe’s grandson Avrom introduces each show declaring that “Bubbe” is one of the three words he needs to know when he is hungry and looking for Kosher food.


On the second day of Shavuot, the Yizkor memorial service is recited. App iZkor brings you the text for the mourning rituals in Judaism that are said in all prayer services as well as at funerals and memorials. Yizkor means “remembrance” in Hebrew.
Yizkor should be recited in a synagogue with a minyan.

It is an custom, primarily in Ashkenazi synagogues,  for those who have both parents living to leave the synagogue during the first part of the Yizkor service. It is believed that their non-participation in Yizkor advocates long life for their living parents.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

Category: Reference
Released: August 20, 2009
PublisherYaniv Kalsky
Price: $0.99 (buy app)





If you want more insights listen to a podcast of  Rabbi Yonah – Shavuot: Celebration of Jewish contribution to humanity (To listen to an audio podcast click here)

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein – dynamic teacher and community activist, Rabbi Yonah achieved international recognition as Director of  The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland from 1998-2001. Rabbi Yonah has organized programs for Jewish students and young adults in ten countries. He is a former Fulbright Fellow, and completed a Masters degree in Polish-Jewish Studies at Oxford University and rabbinical studies at Ohr Somayach Yeshiva.

He founded Jewlicious Festival in 2004, the largest Jewish college student weekend gathering in the country.  Jewlicious brings together over 1,000 students from the USA, Canada, and Israel.

Shavuot: The True Acceptance of Torah – based on a shiur by Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen

The common denominator of the Shalosh Regalim is that there is a commandment to be joyous on each of the holidays.

What does the Torah mean to be b’simcha?

. – a weekly cartoon about the story we are reading in the Torah – video dvar Torah for kids.  Every week, a different writer tells the parsha in 4 minutes.

Kosher, nu, maybe not glatt kosher :-) but  kids will love it.


A Shavuot part below

* * *

If you’re planning to conduct Shavuot services in your shul this year and need a bit of help on your Hebrew pronunciation or want to brush up on a tune, the Virtual Cantor – Josh Sharfman – has recorded the almost entire service for Festivals in mp3 format and put in online so that you can listen to it anytime on your iPhone (just tap on links below or for much, much more visit website Virtual Cantor).

The services for the three festivals of  Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot (Shalosh Regalim) are alike, except for interpolated references and readings for each individual festival. The preliminaries and conclusions of the prayers are the same as on Shabbat. The Amidah on these festivals only contains seven benedictions, with Attah Bechartanu as the main one. Hallel follows.

The Musaf service includes Umi-Penei Hata’enu, with reference to the special festival and Temple sacrifices on the occasion. A blessing on the pulpit (“dukhen”) is pronounced by the “kohanim” during the Amidah (this occurs daily in Israel and most Sephardic congregations, but only on Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in Ashkenazic congregations of the Diaspora).

Festival Ma’ariv

maariv arvim (chatimah)
ki hem chayyeinu (chatimah)
Adonai eloheichem emet
V’ne’emar (ge’ulah)
Ufros aleinu (chatimah)
Vaydabber Mosheh
Chatzi kaddish
Kaddish shalem
V’ne’emar (aleinu)

Festival Shacharit (soon)

Festival Musaf

Attah v’chartanu
Vatiten lanu
Umippn’nei chata’einu (1)
Y’hi ratzon (2)
U’tivneh m’herah (3)
V’qarev p’zureinu (4)
Vavi’enu l’tziyyon (5)
V’et musaf (6)
Uvayom rishon (Pesach)
V’hiqravtem isheh (all 8 days)
Eloheinu velohei
Birkat kohanim
V’al kullam yodukha
Sim shalom
Kaddish shalem

Festival at Home

Kiddush (weekday)
Kiddush (on Shabbat)
Kiddush (havdalah)

Hallel (and Hoshanot)

Barukh attah
Mi kadonai eloheinu (Ps 113 chatimah)
B’tzet Yisrael (Ps 114)
K’mohem yihyu oseihem (Ps 115_ 1-11 chatimah)
Adonai zacharnu (Ps 115_ 12-18)
Shuvi nafshi (Ps 116_ 1-11 chatimah)
N’darai ladonai (Ps 116_ 12-19 chatimah)
Hal’lu et adonai (Ps 117)
Pitchu li (Ps 118 chatimah)
Ana adonai
Baruch haBa
Hal’lu et adonai (Ps 117)
Kaddish Shalem


Adonai mah adam
El male rachamim (martyrs)
El male rachamim (army)
Tehillim 23
Tehillim 121
Tehillim 130
El male rachamim (male)

Some communities read the Akdamut (introduction to the  Ten Commandments) and Book of Ruth (Megillat Ruth), as King David – whose passing occurred on this day – was a descendant of Ruth the Moabite.

Megillat Ruth – Perek 1
Megillat Ruth – Perek 2
Megillat Ruth – Perek 3
Megillat Ruth – Perek 4

Akdamut (enough to get you started)

Robert Pass


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