Shavuot

The Feast of Weeks

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Moses (Charlton Heston) & the Ten Commandments
Shavuot
The Feast of Weeks

Picture courtesy of pinterest

Shavuot or the “Feast of Weeks” in Judaism, we call Pentecost. We celebrated this last month as one of the most important of Chirstian Holy Days. But the festival of Shavuot (Pentecost) in Judiasm began at sunset last night. It celebrates the single most important event in Jewish history – the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Christians consider that the First Covenant.

Shavuot is one of the 3 great pilgrimage feasts where all went to Jerusalem. It also marks the all-important wheat harvest in the Land of Israel (Exodus 34:22) Shavuot occurs on the 6th of Sivan, the culmination of a seven-week period. From the end of Passover, the counting of the Omer occurs, which is the counting of 50 days from the first day of Passover. It signifies the preparation and anticipation leading up to the celebration of the Sinai experience.

Three millennia ago, after the Hebrew slaves left Egypt on the day of Passover, the Jews travelled into the Sinai desert and experienced divine revelation:

God spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you were hearing the sound of words, but you were not seeing a form, only a sound. He told you of His covenant, instructing you to keep the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets. . . . . .Deut. 4:12-13

The giving of the Torah was an event of awesome proportions that indelibly stamped the Jewish nation with a unique character, faith and destiny. They became the people of the book. In the 3,300 years since, the Torah’s ideals – monotheism, justice, responsibility – have become the moral basis for Western civilization.

Some religious Jews seem to think that their Shavuot has no relation to our Christian Pentecost - WRONG. I don't think it is any co-incidence that God chose to give the 2nd Covenant on the anniversary of the 1st one. Ironic that Shavout, a jewish holiday is celebrated in our modern age, by more Christians than Jews. Without the 1st Covenant, civilisation as we know it would not exist and there would not be a 2nd Covenant. We need that 2nd Covenant and I thank God for the Grace of the Holy Spirit.