The custom of “going green” on Shavuot with displays of organic flowers and greenery is widespread and seems entirely natural, yet its oldest historic documentation is far more recent than most imagine. Tracing earliest written sources through to the Code of Jewish Law reveals significant nuance and variation within this seemingly time-honored practice, while ancient sources also seem to wink at this idea. Yet, despite its apparent deep history, an 18th-century luminary threw shade on this practice and many subsequently abandoned it. Here, you’ll find out why!

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