Torah Ark from Adath Yeshurun SynagogueAbraham Shulkin (American, b. Russia, 1852-1918)
Sioux City, Iowa, United States, 1899
- Pinewood: hand-carved, openwork, stained, and painted
- 125 x 96 x 30 in. (317.5 x 243.8 x 76.2 cm)
- The Jewish Museum, New York
- Gift of the Jewish Federation of Sioux City, JM 48-56a-s
Historically, Shavuot is believed to be the anniversary of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Many communities acknowledge this connection by holding a Tikkun Leil Shavuot, an all-night Torah study session. It is customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot as well. There are many explanations for this. One reason is the belief that the Torah is akin to milk in its ability to sustain the Jewish people. It is also traditional on Shavuot to decorate homes and synagogues with beautiful spring flowers.