90+ Shavuot Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers 

Shavuot, also known as Yom haBikkurim (Day of First Fruits) and Atzeret (Concluding Festival), is the second after the Shalosh Regalim pilgrimage festival. The festival is held seven weeks after Passover and has a twofold purpose: agriculture and history. As an agricultural holiday, it commemorates the end of the counting of the Omer.

Shavuot Facts Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers 

The agricultural significance has its roots in the Torah whereby: ‘“And you shall observe the feast of weeks, even the first fruits of the wheat harvest.” (Exodus 34:22); also, “And the feast of the harvest, the first fruits of your labors, which you show in the field” (Exodus 23:16)

As a historical commemoration, the ten commandments were given to Moses on the sixth day of Sivan. Shavuot was hence regarded as z’man Mattan toratenu( season of the giving of the Torah)

Take the Shavuot quiz to test your knowledge about this Biblical holiday.

1. What’s the meaning of the name Shavuot?



2. What does Shavout mean?

“Shavuot” means “promises”: When Hashem gave the Torah to the Jewish people, they promised to obey it and remain faithful to Him. In return, Hashem promised that He would cherish the Jews and not exchange them for any other people.


3. What type of food is it customary to eat during Shavuot?


4. Why is the festival called “Shavuot?”

“Shavuot” means “weeks”: From the time the Jews left Egypt they waited for seven weeks until they were worthy of receiving the Torah. We, too, count Sefirah for seven weeks starting from the night following the first day of Pesach, and then we celebrate the festival of “Shavuot”


5. What do Shavuot, Passover, and Sukkot have in common?

Pilgrimage to Jerusalem


6. Why [in the Gemara (Pesachim 68b)] is the festival referred to as “Atzeret?”

“Atzeret,” means “refraining” or “holding back.” On all festivals, in addition to refraining from work unconnected to food preparation, there is also a special mitzvah to perform the following: on Pesach one eats matzah, on Sukkot one sits in a sukkah, on Rosh Hashanah one blows the shofar, and on Yom Kippur one fasts. Shavuot, however, has no special mitzvah connected to it, except for refraining from work. Thus, we emphasize that the obvious mitzvah of the festival is “Atzeret” — refraining and holding back from doing any forbidden work.


7. According to tradition, who was born and died on Shavuot?


8. What book is read in Shavuot?

Ruth. According to the Midrash, when the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, Hashem asked for a guarantee that they would keep it. They replied, “Avoteinu orvim otanu” — “Our ancestors will be our guarantors.” When this was unacceptable, they offered, “Nevi’einu areivin lanu” — “Our prophets will be our guarantors.” This, too, Hashem did not accept. When they said “Baneinu orvim otanu” — “Our children will be our guarantors” — Hashem replied, “Indeed these are good guarantors. For their sake I will give it to you.”


9. Why did Hashem favor the children over the ancestors and prophets?

Homiletically the Midrash can be explained as follows: Hashem wants the Torah to be studied diligently and observed meticulously throughout history, so He asked the Jews for the requisite assurance. With their first reply, “Our fathers will be the surety” the Jewish people were actually saying “When our parents reach old age and no longer are an asset in the business world, we will set them up in a senior citizen’s club or a home for the retired, and to keep them busy we will arrange Torah study groups for them.” Hashem rejected this as an assurance that Torah would flourish among the Jewish people. With only the elderly learning, little would be accomplished. Afterward, the people responded, “Nevi’einu areivin lanu.” The Hebrew word for prophet “navi” (נביא) is derived from “niv sefataim” (ניב שפתים) — “speech of the lips” (Isaiah 57:19). With this they indicated that they would hire Rabbis who would serve as orators; they would study Torah, and the laymen would be free to engage in business. Wanting Torah to be studied and observed by all, Hashem rejected this offer too. Finally, the Jews said, “Our children will be our surety.” Although their intention may have been to send the children to yeshivah when young and to put them into business when older, Hashem accepted this knowing that once a child is inyeshivah, he would be molded into a Torah-loving Jew and refuse to leave.Moreover, the children will influence their parents to also learn Torah and to observe mitzvot. Thus, through them, the continuity of Torah study and observance is guaranteed for posterity.


10. What do the Jews do the night before Shavuot?

Study the Torah


11. When Hashem offered the Jewish people the Torah they immediately responded “na’aseh venishma” — “We will do and we will listen (study).” If so, why was it necessary for Him to suspend the mountain over them and warn them that if they do not accept the Torah, they would be killed?

The Torah consists of two parts, the Written, and the Oral. The Jewish people were ready to accept the Written Torah, but not the Oral Torah, which explains the written one, transmitting the entire corpus of Jewish law. To persuade them Hashem held the mountain threateningly over them. Alternatively, it was not a great surprise that the Jews readily accepted the Torah and proclaimed, “na’aseh venishma.” After all, in the wilderness all their needs were provided for: they ate manna from Heaven and drank water from Miriam’s well. Their clothing miraculously enlarged as they grew, and were cleaned by the Clouds of Heaven, which also protected them. Under such conditions, there was absolutely no reason not to adhere to the teachings of the Torah. By placing the mountain over the people, Hashem was asking them a question: “There is no guarantee that the tranquility you are currently experiencing will last forever. How will you conduct yourselves when a ‘cloud’ hovers above you, i.e. what will happen when problems befall you? When you will experience difficult times and your very existence is threatened, will you still keep the Torah?” “If you have any doubts,” Hashem told them, “You should know that it is to your advantage to keep the Torah under all circumstances. For as soon as you forsake the Torah, Sham tehei kevuratchem — That will be your burial.”


12. What are the first fruits brought to the Temple called?



13. According to the Gemara (Shabbat 88a), Hashem lifted the mountain over the Jewish people and threatened to kill them if they did not accept the Torah. Rabbi Acha said, “This is an important defense for the Jewish people: If they should violate the Torah, they can claim that they accepted it only under duress,” implying that acceptance under duress is not considered true acceptance. Tosafot asked, “The nations of the world complained to Hashem, ‘Why didn’t You also force us (in a similar fashion) to accept the Torah?’ ” Doesn’t their complaint imply that, even if they would accept Torah due to the mountain being suspended over their heads, their acceptance would be proper and never have a claim of “duress?”

According to halachah, there is a rule that “Devarim shebeleiv einam devarim” — “What one has in his heart [not expressed verbally] is considered invalid” (Rambam, Mechirah 11:9). However, when a person is forced to do something and he makes a vow or takes an oath, he is not bound to it if he nullified it in his heart (Rambam, Nedarim 4:2). If so, the Jewish people should have nullified their consent in their hearts and, since they did not, is not their claim of duress invalid? A possible explanation: that are Jews believe that Hashem not only sees what we do, but also reads their minds and hearts, but the gentiles do not share this belief. Consequently, since Jews believe that Hashem knows what is in their hearts, Hashem indeed gives them credit for their good thoughts. However, the gentiles, who do not believe in this, do not receive any remuneration for their good thought, but to prove that Hashem knows what is in their heart, they are punished for their bad intentions. The concept of nullifying something in one’s heart applies only when one makes a vow under duress from someone to whom one’s real intentions can be concealed. Thus, Hashem will not hold him responsible when he nullifies it in his heart. However, when a person makes a commitment to Hashem, nullifying it in his heart would be an absurdity since Hashem also knows what is in the heart. Hence, had Hashem forced the gentiles to accept the Torah, they would have been able to nullify their acceptance, since, according to their belief, Hashem does not know what is in their hearts, and so they would not have recourse to Rabbi Acha’s argument. However, the Jewish people, who believe that Hashem knows what is in their minds and hearts, cannot mentally nullify their acceptance, and therefore they can claim that they accepted the Torah under duress.


14. Torah was given on which mountain?

Mt Sinai


15. The Gemara (Pesachim 68b) informs us that on Shavuot Rabbi Yosef would make a festive meal and proclaim, “If not for this day, how many Yosefs would there be in the market place?” That is, if not for Torah, the sages might have been ordinary folk. Why was it specifically Rabbi Yosef who celebrated like this and not any of the other sages of the Talmud?

On Shavuot, Moshe received the first set of Tablets. When he came down with them from heaven on the seventeenth of Tammuz and witnessed the worshipping of the golden calf, he threw down the Tablets, shattering them to pieces. After beseeching Hashem to forgive the Jewish people, he came down again from heaven on Yom Kippur with the second Tablets. Superficially one may wonder: “Since it was the second set that lasted, why isn’t the period of the giving of the Torah celebrated on Yom Kippur rather than Shavuot?” Since Shavuot commemorates the giving of the first Tablets, it can be derived that although they were broken they were also holy and precious. In fact, Rabbi Yosef declares (Bava Batra 14b) that both sets of Tablets were holy and that they were both placed in the Ark. The Gemara (Berachot 8b) warns about properly respecting an aged Torah scholar who has forgotten his learning, citing by way of analogy that the complete Tablets and the broken Tablets were placed together in the Ark. The Gemara (Nedarim 41a) relates that Rabbi Yosef once became very ill and forgot all his Torah knowledge, which was a severe blow to his self-image. Therefore, it was Rabbi Yosef who said, “Were it not for this day (Shavuot), when the first Tablets were given and later broken (from which it can be derived that even a sage who has forgotten his Torah study still deserves honor), I — in my present state — would be like one of the many Yosefs who are in the market place. Thus I, in particular, have good reason to celebrate.”


16. What is the other name of Shavuot?

Yom Habikurim


17. Why is it customary to eat a dairy meal the first day of Shavuot?

In The Song of Songs (4:11) Hashem says to the Jewish people, “The sweetness [of Torah] drops from your lips; like honey and milk it lies under your tongue.” Since the Torah is compared to milk, we eat a dairy meal on Shavuot, when the Torah was given.


18. What is the sixth commandment?

Do not murder


19. The holiday is also called “Yom HaBikkurim,” — “The day of the first-fruits” — (Bamidbar 28:26) as well as “Chag Hashavuot” — “festival of Shavuoth” — (Devarim 16:10), and “Zeman Matan Torateinu” — “the season of the giving of our Torah” — (in the davening and Kiddush). What is the significance of these three names?

Thursday morning, the fifteenth of Nissan, the Jewish people left Egypt. That year Nissan and Iyar were both full months of thirty days. The Torah was given on a Shabbat, and halachic authorities have accepted the view that it was the sixth of Sivan. By adding the sixteen days of Nissan (from the Jews’ departure till the end of the month) and the thirty days of Iyar and six days of Sivan, we learn that the Jews received the Torah fifty-two days after leaving Egypt (see Shulchan Aruch Harav 494:1). Our present-day calendar is pre-determined, and Nissan is always thirty days while Iyar is always twenty-nine days. Thus, counting the forty-nine days of sefirah from the second night of Pesach, the festival of Shavuot always occurs on the sixth of Sivan, which coincides with Zeman Matan Torateinu — the Season of the Giving of the Torah. However, when the calendar dates were based on the testimony of witnesses seeing the new moon, Shavuot, which is forty-nine days from the second day of Pesach would not always occur on the day of 6 Sivan when the Torah was given. It could sometimes be celebrated on the fifth of Sivan (when Nissan and Iyar were both only thirty days) and sometimes on the seventh of Sivan (when Nissan and Iyar were both twenty-nine days). Consequently, in the first year of the Jews’ departure from Egypt, on the sixth day of Sivan, fifty-two days after Pesach, they received the Torah and celebrated Zeman Matan Torateinu. In the following year, they observed the commandment of counting forty-nine days from the bringing of the omer offering and after a seven-week period, they celebrated Chag HaShavuot — the Festival of Weeks. Forty years after leaving Egypt the Jews came to Eretz Yisrael, and were required to bring Bikkurim — first fruits — to the Beit Hamikdash (see Kiddushin 37b). This was to be done when they made their pilgrimage to Shavuot, and thus the holiday acquired the new name of Yom HaBikkurim — Day of the First Fruits.


20. For how many days is the Omer counted?

Seven weeks


21. In many communities, it is customary to read Megillat Ruth on Shavuot (see Orach Chaim 490:9). What is the reason for this custom?

Ruth was the ancestor of King David, and he is the ancestor of Mashiach. The Book of Ruth concludes with a verse stating the connection between King David and Ruth. King David died on Shavuot (Jerusalem Talmud, Chagigah, 2:3), and since the Gemara (Rosh Hashanah 11a) says, “Hashem completes the years of the righteous from day to day,” it follows that David was born on Shavuot. Hence, it is customary to read Megillat Ruth in his honor. Incidentally, according to the Gemara (Bava Batra 15b) she was called Ruth, because her descendant David would ‘saturate’ (רִוָה) Hashem with songs and praises. On Shavuot we received the Torah, which contains 613 commandments. The entire world had already been given seven of these commandments to observe, so we actually received 606 additional commandments. Ruth was the daughter of the king of Moav (Sotah 47a); when she converted to Judaism, she accepted upon herself 606 new commandments as the Jewish people did at Sinai. To emphasize the fact that we all received 606 new commandments on Shavuot, we read the story of Ruth, whose name (רות) has the numerical value of 606.


22. Who was Ruth?

A loyal daughter in law


23. King David died in Eretz Yisrael, where Shavuot is celebrated for only one day. Why is the story of his ancestry read on the second day of Shavuot?

Formerly, the fixing of the new month (Rosh Chodesh) was based on the testimony of two witnesses. Then messengers were sent to the Jewish communities informing them of the day designated as Rosh Chodesh, which would also determine the days on which the holidays would occur. Communities that could not be reached before the middle of the month remained in doubt about the calendar and celebrated an extra day of Yom Tov to account for all possibilities. Therefore, in the Diaspora, we always celebrated Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot on two days. Nowadays, although our calendar is based on calculation, we continue to observe the custom of two days of Yom Tov in the Diaspora. Apparently, there is no need to ever celebrate Shavuot for two days since it is always the fiftieth day from the counting of the omer, and by that time it is known already which day Pesach should have been. The Rambam (Kiddush HaChodesh 3:12) writes that “in order not to differentiate between the holidays, the Rabbis have instructed that any place which the messengers would not reach by the middle of Tishrei or Nissan celebrates two days of Yom Tov, including Shavuot.” According to the literal meaning of the Torah, it would have been forbidden for Ruth to marry into the Jewish people. However, thanks to Rabbinic interpretation, which explains that the Torah precluded only the males of Moab and not the females, she was able to marry Boaz and their descendants would be King David and Mashiach. Therefore, to emphasize the reverence we have for the teachings of our Rabbis, we read the story of Ruth on a day that is celebrated only because of Rabbinic ordinance.


24. A delicious treat associated with Shavuot is . . .

Cheese blintzes


25. Eating dairy on Shavuot is?

A time-hallowed custom that is codified in the Code of Jewish Law.


26. What are the other names of Shavout?

Hag Hakatsir- harvest festival, Hag Habikkurim festival of the first fruits, Alzeret Cessation or Solemn assembly.


27. The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged every Jewish man, woman, and child to:

Hear the 10 commandments read from the Torah on Shavuot morning


28. In which mystical work is the period between Pesach and Shavuot viewed as the “courting days of the bridegroom Israel with the bride Torah”?

The Zohar


29. Which Jewish leaders passed away on Shavuot?

King David and Baal Shem Tov


30. The holiday is called “Shavuot” because?

Shavout means ‘weeks’ and it comes after counting seven weeks from the second day of Passover


31. In the Jewish holiday cycle, it is always important to keep track of what we eat and when we eat it. I mean, we wouldn’t want Grandma to serve challah on Pesach or latkes on Rosh Hashanah. True or false: It is customary to eat meat at all meals on Shavuot.



32. If one did not have a chance to bring his holiday sacrifice to the Holy Temple on Shavuot?

He was able to do so for the next six days, until 12 Sivan


33. What does Shavuot commemorate?

Receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai.


34. On Shavuot, it is customary to stay up all night and?

Study Torah


35. It is customary to stay up all night between Erev Shavuot and Shavuot morning and study Torah.



36. Shavuot coincides with?

The day the Torah was given to Sinai


37. It is customary to read this book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) on Shavuot.



38. Shavuot lasts for?

Two days in the diaspora, and one day in Israel


39. In many liberal Jewish communities (especially within the Reform movement in the United States), this coming-of-age ceremony also occurs on Shavuot.



40. On Shavuot, some have the custom to?

Read the book of Ruth, scatter greenery in the synagogue, celebrate with flowers


41. Coming at the end of one’s formal Hebrew School education, the Confirmation ceremony celebrates _____, and marks his or her first step into lifelong Jewish learning.

a student’s commitment to Judaism


42. Let’s put Shavuot into context: it is the festival that comes after Pesach (Passover). How many days separate the two holidays (if your count begins at the second night’s Passover seder)?



43. On the Counting of the Omer (in Hebrew, S’firat haOmer): literally, an “Omer” is a unit of measure. During the Temple period, each day beginning with the second night of Pesach and ending with Shavuot, what would be taken to the Temple as a harvest offering?

an omer, or sheaf of barley


44. Shavuot falls exactly seven weeks after ______, representing the time marked by the harvest season in Israel.



45. Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals in the Jewish holiday cycle. What are the other two?

Passover and Sukkot


46. The seven-week period between Passover and Shavuot, which we count one day at a time, is called the Counting of the ________.



47. What is the name of the liturgical poem, written in the middle ages, extolling the greatness of God, that is read on Shavuot?



48. In what Jewish month is Shavuot celebrated?



49. Stylisticly, the first 44 lines of Akadmut are written in double acrostic format, based on what?

the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

50. What are the five names of Shavuot?

Hag Matan torah, Hag HaShavuot, Hag Hakatzir, Hag Habikurim, Atzeret


51. Akdamut poem has been attributed to?

Rabbi Meir of Worms


51. What is the other meaning of the Hebrew word Shavuot mean?



52. The aesthetic of Shavuot is defined by decorating homes and synagogues with greenery and flowers. True or false: this is because Shavuot is also the birthday of the trees and corresponds with the time of first blooms in Israel.



53. When is Shavuot celebrated?

On the 50th day after the beginning of Passover.


54. What is the connection between the number 7 and Shavuot?

We count 7 weeks after the beginning of Passover before we celebrate Shavuot.


55. Which of the commandments is “Remember the Shabbat and keep it holy”?



56. What is the Omer?

The counting of the days between Passover and Shavuot


57. In the days of the Temple, what did people do on Shavuot?

They harvested the first fruits and brought them to the Temple.


58. Which commandment says that you should respect your parents?



59. Who was Ruth’s great-grandson?

King David


60. What is the main difference between the first 5 commandments and the second 5?

First 5: between people and G-d, second 5: between people and other people


61. Who was Ruth’s second husband?



62. What did the people of Israel anser when G-d asked if they want to receive the Torah?

We will do and listen (naaseh v’nishma)


63. Who wrote the Book of Ruth?

The Prophet Samuel


64. How many letters are there in the Torah?

304, 805


65. What was the name of Ruth’s mother-in-law?



66. On what mountain did Moses receive the Ten Commandments?

Mount Sinai


67. To what city does Ruth travel with Naomi?



68. What is the counting of the omer, and its relationship to Shavuot?

Beginning on the second night of Passover, we count 50 days until Shavuot. “From the day after you bring the sheaf (omer) of wave offering [the second day of Pesah], you shall keep count until seven full weeks have elapsed: you shall count fifty days, until the day after the seventh week” (Leviticus 23:15-16). Hence the name of the holiday, Shavuot (Weeks).


69. The book of Ruth is read on which day?

the second day


70. What are the special observances for Shavuot?

Tikkun Leil Shavuot, Decorating the synagogue with flowers and foliage, Eating Dairy, The Book of Ruth


71. Some Classical Texts Related to Shavuot

Bikkurim 1.1-3, Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer 41, Pesikta Rabbati 20.13, Targum Sheni, Moses Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed 2:33


72. The 33rd day of the Omer is called

Lag B’Omer


73. What type of decoration is traditionally found in the home and/or synagogue during Shavuot?



74. The late-night Shavuot study session is known as

Tikkun Leil Shavuot


75. By which name are the 49 steps of the Omer traditionally referred?

The Steps of Purity


76. What is the reason that we eat dairy products on Shavuot?

To symbolize the land flowing with milk and honey, After the Israelites received the Torah, they could no longer eat the meat they had prepared, and thus ate only dairy. Kabbalists equate the numerical value of wor Halav(milk), 40, with the number of days Moses spent on Mount Sinai.


77. How many sentences are in the Jewish version of the Ten Commandments?



78. The ritual of upsheren, associated with Lag Ba’Omer, involves:

A boy’s first haircut.


79. For how many days is the Omer counted?



80. What was the special offering for the holiday of Shavuot in the times of the Temple?



81. Which are the custom observed on Shavuot?

Staying up all night to study Torah, Eating dairy products, Decorating the synagogue with flowers, Reading the Ten Commandments.


82. When does the holiday of Shavuot occur?

Late May or early June


83. Shavuot is a pilgrimage holiday. How many pilgrimage holidays are there in Judaism?



84. The Jewish holiday Shavuot celebrates “Matan Torah.” What does that mean?

The giving of the first five books of the “Old Testament” to Moses on Mount Sinai )


85. Name the Pilgrimage holidays of Judaism?

Succot (or Succus; it which occurs shortly after Yom Kippur,) Pesach, and Shavuot


86. Starting at the second Seder of Passover, Jews count the days until Shavuot. What do they call this counting?

The counting of the Omer


87. All work is prohibited on this Shavout, true or false?



88. How long does the Jewish holiday Shavuot last?

1 day in Israel, 2 days outside of Israel


89. The Jewish holiday Shavuot is also known as “Chag Ha-Bikurim.” What does that mean?

The holiday of the first fruits


90. True or false, on Shavuot Jews read the Ten Commandments?



91. Jews believe the event on the first Shavuot was so loud that Moses’ father-in-law heard it. What was his name?

Jethro (Yitro)


92. Although it is not a law, it is tradition for Jews to not eat meat on Shavuot. True or false?



93. What is the name of the Hebrew harvest festival?



94. Which Jewish festival is similar to Pentecost?

Shavuot, occurring on Sivan 6, is 50 days after the Hebrew calendar day Nisan 16. Note the 40 days of lent has their roots in paganism, which was originally a 40-day period of weeping for the Babylonian sun god, Tammuz. This practice is not Biblical. Shavuot represents a new revelation of God’s will, the giving of God’s Law. Leviticus 23:21 states that it will be a statute forever. About 1491 BC, God gave the 10 Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai on the holy day of Shavuot (Exodus 19 – 20). Tradition says that during the night of Shavuot, Heaven opens up for a brief instant, and men keep a vigil of study that evening, perhaps in hopes of seeing it. About 33 AD, God sent the Holy Spirit on Shavuot (Pentecost) thereby writing the Law on human hearts and empowering the Church to accomplish His will on Earth (2 Cor 3:3, Heb 8:10, 10:16). Paul continues observing Shavout after Christ’s ascension (Acts 20;16, 24:11, 16:8).


95. Where did Shavuot originate?

Mount Sinai, in Israel, is the originating location of Shavuot. It celebrates the day or two days (outside of Israel) when God gave the Torah to Moses. Because it originated in Israel, it is celebrated for one day by Jews of Israel, and for two days by Jewish people outside Israel.


96. The Jews study the Torah the night before Shavout, true or false?



97. Shavuot is an agricultural holiday that commemorates the end of the counting of the Omer. True or false?




Leave a Comment