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I was at Chabad this Shavuot and they did not read Ruth. Everywhere else I've been (all Nusach Ashkenaz) has read it claiming that it's appropriate since this is the time of the wheat harvest.

Are there other groups who do not read Ruth on Shavuot? Are Ashkenazim the only ones who do? Where did the custom originate?

Also (and maybe this should be a separate question), does Chabad (and other groups who omit Ruth) read Kohelet on Sukkot?

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You could ask too why they omit Akdamus, even though it's in their siddur. –  yoel May 30 '12 at 15:55
    
I've never heard this before. The Chabad website says it is "appropriate to read the Book of Ruth" on Shavu'oth. –  Seth J May 30 '12 at 16:04
    
Sepharadim dont read Rut or Kohelet publicly the way Ashkenazim do –  Baal Shemot Tovot May 30 '12 at 16:17
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Chabad does not read any Meggilos except for Eicha and Esther. –  Shmuel Brin May 30 '12 at 17:19
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@yoel I just saw that the Lubavitcher Rebbe says (in the sicha of the second day of Shavuos 5717) that we don't say Akdamus because if someone understands the greatness of Hashem, how lofty he is, and how lofty is the Torah that comes from Him, saying Akdamus may permit one to focus on the "Gilyuim" rather that on Hashem's essence. –  Shmuel Brin Aug 14 '12 at 22:50
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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Only Ashkenazic communities read all five megillos in a public setting over the course of the year. Sefardic and Chassidic communities generally will only read Eicha on Tisha B'av and (of course) Esther on Purim, but not the other three on the shalosh regalim.

The custom to read Ruth on Shavuos (as well as Shir Hashirim on Pesach, I think) is mentioned earliest in Maseches Sofrim (14:18) (although the custom of exactly when during the holiday to say it is not the same). Many reasons are given for each megilla for why it is read on its corresponding holiday, but as far as I know, those are found in more recent works.

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Many sepharadim include the entire Rut in the Tikkun Lel Shavu'ot (as opposed to snippets from the book, as with other sifrei nevi'im and ketuvim). –  Baal Shemot Tovot May 30 '12 at 17:50
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@هه: that is the Chabad custom too. –  Alex May 30 '12 at 18:04
    
+1. Re "Chassidic communities generally will only read Eicha... and... Esther", I'm not sure how general that is. Certainly some chasidim do read the others. Any idea which chasiduyos do/don't? –  msh210 May 30 '12 at 18:53
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@msh210: see Otzar Minhagei Chabad (last paragraph on the linked page) for a rundown. –  Alex May 31 '12 at 0:23
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Some sepharadim read Ruth in public before mincha of Yom tov. They use to separate it in two parts for the two days outside Erets Israel. This is the case in France for Jewish from North Africa. –  allced May 31 '12 at 12:33
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Never heard of such a minhag and according to chabad.org we read ruth on shavuos. http://m.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2158/jewish/The-Book-of-Ruth.htm

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That only says "in many synagogues it is read publicly." As Alex said the part that "The Book of Ruth is recited as part of the program of study for Shavuot night" is the Chabad practice. –  Yishai Nov 18 '13 at 23:08
    
@Yishai Technically, the question never said "public reading at Shacharit". –  Double AA Nov 18 '13 at 23:11
    
@DoubleAA, if the intention of the answer (that it is at least read at some point by everybody), I highly suggest the author clarify that. –  Yishai Nov 18 '13 at 23:20
    
We read it in spirit –  Shmuel Brin Nov 19 '13 at 0:06
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