Shavuot - the Festival of Weeks

Shavuot - Jewish heritage Tour at Neot Kedumim

The Festival of Weeks

Exactly 50 days after the first day of Passover, we celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. As with all the pilgrimage festivals, Shavuot has both historical and agricultural significance, and both these aspects are reflected in the several names of the holiday

Shavuot as a historical festival

Chag Matan Torah: The Holiday of the Giving of the Torah – The Talmud teaches that the Torah was given to the Children of Israel on Shavuot. Like the wheat that ripens during the Sfirat Ha-Omer period, so the Children of Israel had to “ripen” after the Exodus from Egypt on Passover before they were deemed worthy of receiving the Torah.

Shavuot as an agricultural festival

Chag Shavuot: Festival of Weeks – The literal translation of the word Shavuot is weeks, and the festival falls immediately after we count seven weeks (49 days) from the biblically mandated “waving of the sheaves,” – the first sheaves of the barley harvest – which takes place on the second day of Passover. The Mishna and the Talmud both refer to Shavuot as Atzeret , literally “the closing”, as it is the “closing of Passover,” or specifically, the end of the Counting of the Omer (Sfirat Ha-Omer), the 49 days that comprise the seven most stressful weeks in ancient Israel’s agricultural reality.

Yom Ha-Bikkurim :  The Day of the First Fruits   – From Shavuot until Sukkot the ancient Israelite farmer would bring the first fruits of the seven species of his harvest  as an offering to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Chag Ha-Katzir: Festival of the Harvest – Shavuot is the start of the wheat harvest in Israel that can last for many weeks in different parts of the country, small as it is.

Shavuot at Neot Kedumim Biblical Landscape

Shavuot at Neot Kedumim Biblical Park is the time to see the ripening of the first fruits of the Seven Species (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and (date) honey), their connection to the holiday of Shavuot, and their significance in the Land of Israel. Experience the harvesting of the wheat fields and the work on the threshing floor like in the story of Ruth and Boaz.

 

For further details of Shavuot outdoor activities:

Please check our homepage for activities and tours or contact the Incoming Tourism Department at Neot Kedumim, The Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel
Telephone: + 972 8 9770782  Telefax: + 972 8 9770766  E-mail: tourism@n-k.org.il