SHAVOUT / PENTECOST
Also One Of The Seven Annual (High) Sabbaths: The day of Pentecost (Shavuot) which coincides with the beginning of The Feast of Weeks
Shavuʿoth in Sephardi and Mizrahi Hebrew (Hebrew: שבועות, lit. “Weeks”), is known as the Feast of Weeks in English and as Pentecost (Πεντηκοστή) in Ancient Greek.
It is a Hebrew Yisraelite Feast Observance.
Shavuot has a double significance. It marks the all-important wheat harvest in the Land of Yisrael (Exodus 34:22); and it commemorates the anniversary of the day YAHUAH gave the Torah to the entire nation of Yisrael assembled at Mount Sinai, although the association between the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah) and Shavuot is not explicit in the Scriptural text.
The Feast is one of the Shalosh Regalim, the three Scriptural pilgrimage festivals. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer, and its date is directly linked to that of Passover.
The Torah mandates the seven-week Counting of the Omer, beginning at First Fruits.
This counting of days and weeks is understood to express anticipation and desire for the giving of the Torah.
On Passover, the people of Yisrael were freed from their enslavement to Pharaoh; on Shavuot they were given the Torah and became a nation committed to serving YAHUAH. The word Shavuot means weeks, and the festival of Shavuot marks the completion of the seven-week counting period between Passover and Shavuot.
The yahrzeit of King David is traditionally observed on Shavuot. Hasidic Jews also observe the yahrzeit of the Baal Shem Tov.
Shavuot is one of the less familiar Jewish holidays to secular Jews in the Jewish diaspora, while those in Yisrael as well as the Orthodox community are more aware of it.
According to Jewish law, Shavuot is celebrated in Yisrael for one day and in the Diaspora (outside of Yisrael) for two days. Reform Judaism celebrates only one day, even in the Diaspora.
Scriptural Names in the Torah
In the Scriptures, Shavuot is called the Festival of Weeks (Hebrew: חג השבועות, Ḥag ha-Shavuot, Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:10); Festival of Reaping (Hebrew: חג הקציר, Ḥag ha-Katsir, Exodus 23:16), and Day of the First Fruits (Hebrew יום הבכורים, Yom ha-Bikkurim, Numbers 28:26).
Shavuot, the plural of a word meaning “week” or “seven”, alludes to the fact that this festival happens exactly seven weeks (i.e. “a week of weeks”) after Passover.
The Book of Jubilees and the Zadokites
This literal interpretation of ‘Shabbat’ as the weekly Shabbat, was shared by the 2nd-century BCE author of the Book of Jubilees who was motivated by the priestly sabbatical solar calendar of the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, which was designed to have festivals and Sabbaths fall on the same day of the week every year.
On this calendar (best known from the Book of Luminaries in 1 Enoch), Shavuot falls on a Sunday.
The date was reckoned fifty days from the first Sabbath after Passover. Thus, Jub. 1:1 claims that Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive the Torah “on the sixteenth day of the third month in the first year of the Exodus of the children of Yisrael from Egypt”.
In Jub. 6:15–22 and 44:1–5, the Observance is traced to the appearance of the first rainbow, the day on which YAHUAH made his covenant with Noah.