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There is nowhere I can see in the tanach that associates Shavuot with Matan Torah.

However, we say in the prayers on Shavuot: "Z'man Matan Toratainu" (the time of the giving of the Torah).

Whenever Shavuot is mentioned in the Torah is it associated with Bikuri'im or the Omer sacrifice.

Why is it that nowadays we have this association of Shavuot to Matan Torah, where is this association mentioned anywhere in Tanach?

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from sichosinenglish.org/books/sichos-in-english/50/39.htm#n360 -- "Furthermore, according to the Torah, there is no connection between Shavuos and the days of the month. The day on which the holiday is celebrated is determined through the Counting of the Omer." – Menachem Jun 5 '12 at 22:22
@Menachem thank you. That seems like it could be a more "correct" answer. – Naftali Jun 6 '12 at 12:54

Rav S.R. Hirsch in the Collected Writings Vol.1 in an article entitled "The Uniqueness of the Torah" writes that the connection between Shavuos and Matan Torah is only stated in the Torah Shebaal Peh in order to teach us that someone who does not accept the Torah Shebaal Peh never has had a Kabolas Hatorah

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Tanakh does not give an explicit date as far as I know, but torah gets it within a few days and the gemara draws the connection.

The Gemara in masechet Shabbat (86-88a) discusses the exact date of matan torah, and the gemara's discussion of what the torah reading and the haftarah are for shavuot reflect choices which point out the commemoration of the Sinaitic revelation (Chabakuk, which Rashi connects to matan Torah, for example). Also, Shmot 19 does point to the third month (Sivan) as the zman of matan torah.

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I am asking for a Tanach source. The date for shavuot in shemot that people use is all specualtion, it gives no exact date for matan torah. – Naftali May 29 '12 at 14:24
@Naftali It may not give an exact date, but even pure pshat of Shemot 19 takes you within a 2 or 3 days of shavuot, which as you may recall has no set date in the Torah either. – Double AA May 29 '12 at 14:35
@Naftali why is a source in Na"Ch stronger than Gemara? – yoel May 29 '12 at 14:56
@yoel the gemarah makes no connection of shavuot to matan torah whatsoever... – Naftali May 29 '12 at 15:03
@yoel I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. It can be very relevant to find out which sources say what about a certain issue. If we conclude that there is no explicit connection to Shavuot in Tanach, then we have to ask either why Tanach left it out, or why Chazal conflated the two (or both)? As I mentioned above, Shavuot has no fixed date in the calendar (5, 6, or 7 Sivan) and we have a machloket in the gemara which day Mattan Torah actually happened (6 or 7 Sivan), so it is clear that the nature of the connection between the two is not straightforward and needs to be better investigated. – Double AA May 29 '12 at 17:05

The Tanach Study Center has a full discussion.

Key points extracted: (note the use of the word "may" at critical points).

The Shtei HaLechem is the special korban of Shavuot.

It is the only korban 'mincha' offered by the tzibur that is baked as 'chametz.' (All other flour offerings must be baked as 'matzah.')

It is the only time during the entire year when the tzibur brings a korban shlamim i.e. the two k'vasim that are offered with the Shtei HaLechem.

Matzah symbolizes the initial stage of a process, whereas the fully risen 'chametz' symbolizes its completion. Thus, the mitzvah to bake the Shtei HaLechem as 'chametz' may indicate that Matan Torah should be understood as the culmination of the redemption process that began with Yetziat Mitzrayim. Just as the Shtei HaLechem marks the culmination of the wheat harvest, the staple of our physical existence, the historical process that began with the Exodus culminates with Matan Torah, the essence of our spiritual existence.

The first instance where we find a korban shlamim is at the end of Parshat Mishpatim Shmot 24:4-8 when the Torah describes the special covenantal ceremony which takes place at Ma'amad Har Sinai. At this ceremony, Bnei Yisrael proclaim "Na'aseh V'nishma" while entering into a covenant to become God's special nation by accepting the laws of Matan Torah. That ceremony included the offering of special korbanot: olat and shlamim (see Shmot 24:5). The blood from these korbanot, sprinkled both on the mizbayach and on the people, symbolized Bnei Yisrael's entry into the covenant (24:6-8). Thus we find that the very first korban shlamim is offered as a symbol of Bnei Yisrael's acceptance of Matan Torah. A shlamim reflects a joint feast shared by covenental partners. Therefore, the korban shlamim that is presented together with the Shtei HaLechem on Shavuot may serve as a symbolic reminder of Matan Torah.

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As explained in שו"ת הריב"ש 96 and brought in Shulchan Aruch Harav there is no inherent connection between Shavuos and Mattan Torah. Shavuos doesn't happen on a fixed date, and Mattan Torah wasn't even the same number of days after Pesach as Shavuos.

However, since the fixed calendar puts Shavuos on the 6th of Sivan, which is the date of Mattan Torah (according to the Rabbannan Shabbos 86b), therefore we say "Z'man Matan Toratainu." But if it didn't work out that way, it would seem that we wouldn't.

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The Torah, itself, does not mention the exact date that the Torah is given, but this can be easily calculated by looking at the story at the beginning of Shemot ch. 20. Summary:

  • 1st day of 3rd month (Sivan) they arrive at Mt. Sinai
  • 2nd Sivan, Moshe goes up to mountain & G-d tells him that Israel should be a nation of priests, etc. Moses relays this to the people, and they answer, Everything G-d says we will do
  • 3rd Nisan, Moshe relays the info to G-d, and G-d says that they should prepare themselves today and tomorrow (i.e. - 3rd & 4th Sivan) and be ready for the 3rd day (i.e. - 5th Sivan.)
  • On 3rd Nisan, Moshe returns to the people, and decides on his own to add an extra day as a defense in case men had a seminal emission. (i.e., 3 days of preparation, not 2 as G-d originally told him. See Avot D'rAv Nattan ch. 2

Rashi on Exodus 19:3:1 explains that each time Moshe went up the mountain it was on a different day. (I was wondering about that, as from the text, it seems that Moshe might have made more than one trip per day):

"And Moshe went up" - On the second day. And all of his goings up were at daybreak as it is written (Exodus 34: 4) "Moshe arose in the morning."

Thus, that makes the "3rd day" the 6th day of Sivan.

If you match this up with the commandment to count 50 days from the "morrow of the Sabbath", translated as staring from the 2nd day of Pesach, based on the current calculation of the fixed calendar that we now use, that matches with the 6th of Sivan as well.

In the last sentence of @Yishai's amswer, he seems to refer to a time prior to the fixed calendar when each year, the calendar date of Shavu'ot may be different than that of the previous year, depending on the length of Nissan and Iyar. (They could be both 29, 30, or one 29 and the other 30 days long.)

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