By Rabbi Daniel Plotkin
Shavuot is the forgotten holiday. Unlike Passover, it doesn’t have a story of miracles and a big seder. Unlike Purim no festivities and frivolity of that sort on Shavuot. There’s no menorah to light, shofar to blow, hut to build or trees to plant. While many Reform and Conservative congregations celebrate the confirmation of 10th grade (or older) students on Shavuot, it is still a forgotten holiday in many ways.
This starts in the Bible. While Passover, Rosh HaShanah, Sukkot, Purim and more get specific dates assigned to them. Shavuot is simply the 50th day after one starts counting the Omer. Because of disagreements over when to start the counting, this mean that different groups recognized Shavuot as being on different days. Eventually the view that it should be the 6th of Sivan became the norm. Read more.