MONTH OF SIVAN
Numbers 28:11-13 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Rosh Chodesh: New Moon
11 “On the first of the month you are to present to Adonai a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram, and seven flawless male lambs a year old, 12 with three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering with each bull, and two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering with the ram, 13 and with each lamb a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma, an offering by fire to Adonai.
Sivan is the third month on the Jewish calendar counting from Nissan.
Rosh Chodesh Sivan is distinguished as the day on which the Jewish people arrived and camped before Mount Sinai.
The Torah describes this with the phrase “Israel camped before the mountain” (Exodus 19:2), where the verb vayichan (“camped”) is stated in a singular form, in contrast to the other verbs in the narrative. This describes how the entire people camped “as one person, with one heart,” expressing true unity.
In the month of Sivan, we celebrate the holiday of Shavuot, when the Torah was given by G‑d to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. Every year on the holiday of Shavuot, we renew our acceptance of YAH’S gift, and YAH’S “re-gives” the Torah.
The holiday of Shavuot is a two-day holiday, beginning at sundown of the fifth of Sivan and lasting until nightfall of the seventh of Sivan. (In Israel it is a one-day holiday, ending at nightfall of the sixth of Sivan.)
The word SHAVUOT means “weeks.” It marks the completion of the seven-week counting period between Passover and Shavuot. The mitzvah to count each of the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot—known as Sefirat HaOmer—is a period of introspection and self-refinement, as we prepare ourselves to receive the Torah anew on Shavuot. Each day of counting represents another step in this spiritual journey.
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 “oaths,” for on this day YAH swore eternal devotion to us, and we in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him.