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The Tabernacle Times
_____ May 2013 ____________________ Iyyar - Sivan 5773 _____________________ Volume 8 Issue 5_____

Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks

Rabbi & Brenda

By Rabbi Jeremy & Brenda Storch

Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks, is a Jewish holiday that traditionally occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (late May or early June).  This year it falls on May 15th, beginning in the evening of May 14th according to the Jewish calendar, although there are different opinions (mine included).

Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai and the holiday is one of the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer that we talked about in last month's newsletter.  It is also the anniversary of the day God, through his son Yeshua, gave the Holy Spirit to all believers.

The date of Shavuot is directly linked to the season of Passover. The Torah mandates the seven-week Counting of the Omer. This counting of days and weeks is understood to express anticipation and
desire for the Giving of the Torah. On Passover, the people of Israel were freed from their enslavement to Pharaoh; on Shavuot they were given the Torah and became a nation committed to serving God.

Like many of the Jewish holidays, Shavuot has several names - the  Festival of Weeks, the Festival of Reaping and the Day of the First Fruits. Since Shavuot occurs 50 days from the day after the Sabbath during the week of Passover (Lev. 23:10&11), it was given the name "Pentecost" ("fiftieth day").

Besides its significance as the day on which the Torah was revealed by God to the Israelite nation at Mount Sinai, Shavuot is also connected to the season of the grain harvest in Israel. In ancient times, the grain harvest lasted seven weeks and was a season of gladness.

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