|Positive Mitzvah Forty-Six
Bringing Two Loaves on Shavuot
Requires Beit HaMikdash
We are commanded to bring into the Sanctuary on Shavuot, two loaves of bread, together with the sacrifices that are offered as complementary to the Bread-offering; and to offer sacrifices as prescribed in Sefer VaYikra. After the two loaves have been waved, the Kohanim are to eat them along with the lambs of the Peace-offerings.
Shavuot is the festival celebrating the time when the Torah was given to us. The Torah is compared to lechem (bread). They are both "the staff of life." While bread sustains us and nourishes our bodies, the Torah is the life of our souls.
In Menachot 4, it is explained that this sacrifice, which was complementary to the Bread-offering, is separate and distinct from the Musaf-offering of the day, i.e., of Shavuot.
With the bringing of the two Loaves of Bread on Shavuot from the new crop of wheat, use of the new crop became permissible in the Sanctuary throughout the ensuing year; and with the bringing of the Omer-offering on the 16th of Nisan, i.e.. on the second day of Pesach, from the new crop of barley, use of the new crop became permissible for all other purposes.
According to the Mishna, this Mitzvah served to emphasize the special holiness of Eretz Yisrael: