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Shavuot is a minor, ancient pilgrimage festival that marked the harvest of barley. Shavuot literally means “weeks,” so named because the festival is exactly seven weeks (plus one day) from the second night of Passover.
In North America, Shavuot is a time to celebrate educational achievement. The Reform movement holds Confirmation on Shavuot. In Israel, Shavuot became a holiday celebrated with eating dairy foods because the Bible says that Israel was a land flowing with milk and honey and all night Torah study.
Humanistic Jews can celebrate Shavuot with picnics featuring fresh loaves of bread, dairy products and fruit. For many communities and congregations, the picnics also include the celebration of education and the end of the school year.
B’rukhim hamotziim lehem min haaretz.
Blessed are those who bring forth bread from the earth.