The Truth About Shavuot

Joshua 5:11 in the 1611 King James VersionShavuot is a biblical festival known in English as the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. Shavuot is a pilgrimage-feast, in Hebrew chag. As a chag, Shavuot is one of the three annual biblical festivals on which every male Israelite is commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple. Shavuot is also referred to in the Torah as Chag Ha-Katzir, the Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16) and Yom Ha-Bikurim, the Day of Firstfruits (Numbers 28:26). Continue reading

Counting the Omer

Counting the Omer, count, counting, Omer, Pentecost, Shavuot, sheaf, wave, waving, Weeks, Nehemia Gordon, feast of weeks, sabbath, shabbat, work, rest, barley, wheat, harvestSunday April 24, 2016 is יוֹם הֲנָפַת הָעֹמֶר Yom Hanafat Ha'omer (Day of the Waving of the Sheaf). When the Temple stood this day marked the official commencement of the grain harvest (Deuteronomy 16:7) and the first Omer (sheaf) of the barley harvest was brought to the Temple as a wave-offering (Leviticus 23:9-14). This day also marks the beginning of the 50-day count to חַג הַשָּׁבֻעוֹת‏ Shavuot (Pentecost; Feast of Weeks). Yom Hanafat Ha'omer is counted as Day 1 and Shavuot as Day 50. Continue reading