At Shavuot the farmers would gather the Bikkurim into baskets and bring them to the city of Jerusalem where they would be eaten in the holy city. The farmers living close to Jerusalem would bring fresh fruits, while those who had to travel a long distance carried dried raisins and figs. This joyful occasion was celebrated with the music of fifes, timbres, and drums. As the pilgrims approached the city walls they were greeted by the inhabitants of the city. Sometimes the King himself would join the procession to the Temple Mount.The Bikkurim ritual is no longer practiced in present day Israel.
Chanting the Ten Commandments and reading Megilat Rut, known as the Book of Ruth in English. This biblical book tells the story of two women: a Jewish woman named Naomi and her non-Jewish daughter-in-law Ruth. Their relationship was so strong that when Ruth’s husband died she decided to join the Jewish people by converting to Judaism. The Book of Ruth is read during Shavuot because it takes place during the harvest season and because Ruth’s conversion is thought to reflect our acceptance of the Torah on Shavuot. Also, Jewish tradition teaches that King David (Ruth’s great-great-grandson) was born and died on Shavuot.
- Decorating our synagogues and homes with roses or aromatic spices. This custom is based on midrashim that connect the events at Sinai to spices and roses.