…be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
The custom of staying up all night on Shavuot is based on the story in Exodus. Moses told the children of Israel to “be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.” A few verses later, on the morning of that third day, “there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled” (Exodus 19:16). The thunder, lightning, and trumpet blast were needed to wake up the children of Israel. Even though Moses told them to be ready, they overslept.The children of Israel did not know what was in the Torah that God was about to give them. Maybe that is why it was hard for them to be excited. But we, who know how beautiful God’s Word is, have no excuse to not be ready to receive God’s greatest gift to us. On Shavuot, the Jewish people stay up all night so there’s no chance of sleeping in. It’s a way of showing God how eager they are to receive His Torah once again.