Shavuot Themes & Theology

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Another interesting theory relates the apprehension to the agricultural harvest itself. The omer period was when fruit ripened, and thus the fate of the season's crops was determined. Indeed the Talmud views Shavuot as the day when the world is judged regarding the fruit of the trees. There also is a logical historical reason for the fact the omer period became a time of sadness. After the Temple was destroyed in the first century C.E., the people could no longer bring their offerings. Jews would still mark the time, however. The time was now sad because of the need to commemorate the festival "l'zekher lamikdash" (in memory of the Temple) rather than at the Temple itself.

Shavuot is a day of great joy, marking the end of the sadness and commemorating the joy of receiving the Torah.

Consequently, for a few hundred years Shavuot has been the time when young children begin their study of Torah. The joy of Torah learning is often demonstrated physically by giving children candy or allowing them to lick honey off the page being studied. 

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