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Shavuot 5780 / “Pentecost” 2020
May 28 @ 6:00 am - 7:30 pm
The word Shavuot [שבועות] means weeks, and it marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer [“Sefirat HaOmer” ספירת העומר]. Its date is directly linked to that of Passover; the Torah mandates the seven-week Counting of the Omer, beginning on the second day of Unleavened Bread [Chag HaMatzot חג המצות], to be immediately followed by Shavuot. The Greek translation of this holiday is “Pentecost,” based upon the counting of days versus weeks.
Pentecost was the Greek name for the fifty days from the Day of Firstfruits until the beginning of the new wheat harvest, kept in the third month during late spring or early summer. In Hebrew this festival was called Shavuot, which means “weeks,” for the seven that were counted between the Firstfruits of Passover, to Pentecost, also called the “Feast of Firstfruits.” This special day is also called “Zeman Mattan Torah,” or the season of the “Giving of the Torah,” when God uttered the “Ten Commandments,” or as it said in Hebrew, the “Ten Words,” from Mount Sinai.
We celebrate this amazing day of receiving the oral and written Torah from Mount Sinai, as we also recognize the giving of the “Spirit of the Torah,” written on the “tablets of our hearts,” on the evening of Thursday, May 28th, 2020.