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The Shavuot Holiday in Israel: Joy in the Law, Joy in the Land

A modern state revels in the spring harvest.

P. David Hornik


May 16, 2013 - 7:00 am
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The holiday of Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, falls this year on Wednesday in Israel and on Wednesday and Thursday in the Diaspora. It falls every year exactly seven weeks after Passover. The latter holiday celebrates the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt; Shavuot (which means “weeks”) celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, which followed some arduous trekking through the desert.

Shavuot, though, has a whole other, agricultural dimension. Also known as the Festival of the First Fruits, in ancient Israel Shavuot marked the end of the spring barley harvest and the bringing of the first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem. Theorists of these matters believe the agricultural layer of the holiday is the older, original one, and the commemoration of Sinai was added later.

In any case, the Sinai dimension of the holiday is more portable and can be practiced in synagogues anywhere; the agricultural dimension is more tied to the land of Israel. In fact, growing up in a secular Jewish family in upstate New York, I didn’t know about Shavuot at all. We had a Passover meal every year, and I thought it pretty much ended with that.

It makes sense, then, that during the period of Zionist resettlement of the land of Israel, the agricultural aspect was intensely revived. In fact, it was revived particularly by the kibbutz movements — which, at the time, were doctrinally socialist and mostly atheist, but seeking roots in the soil of the land.

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And this is where THE HOLY Temple will be built and then all of Islam will see how blessed are the Jews for they have the Holy Temple on Mount Hermon

Song Of Solomon
Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,
come with me from Lebanon.
Descend from the crest of Amana,
from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon,
from the lions’ dens
and the mountain haunts of leopards.
9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.
10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your perfume
more than any spice!
11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
milk and honey are under your tongue.
The fragrance of your garments
is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
with choice fruits,
with henna and nard,
14 nard and saffron,
calamus and cinnamon,
with every kind of incense tree,
with myrrh and aloes
and all the finest spices.
15 You are[b] a garden fountain,
a well of flowing water
streaming down from Lebanon.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What great value the secular has proved to be when the sacred,the orthodox ,the holy can live in peace and become fruitful. But how long the secular can be trusted .Why force the orthodox to violate their conscience as they wait for the Messiah ? Messiah will never come so concludes the secular so they then in times of trouble take on the authority of the sacred as King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon do forcing Daniel to the lions den and Shadrach Meshach and Adednego into the fire.
We see Obama do this invading the Roman Catholic Church to obey the secular as if it was sacred and holy to obey
How will the Holy temple be built as long as King Nebuchadnezzar rules?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Shavuot is also the day the Jewish believers in Jerusalem were filled with the Holy Spirit (erroneously renamed as Pentecost).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's not erroneous- Pentecost, "fifty days" is how you translate Shavout into Greek.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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