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May 29, 1987 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-05-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

For The

HOLIDAYS

UNBEATABLE DEAL
seeLARRY KAPLAN

New Cars - Trucks • Used Cars - Leasing

THE UNBEATABLE DEALER

28111 Telegraph Rd. & 1-696

Across from Tel-12 Mall

(313) 355-1000
(313) 355-6414

SPRING TIME .
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.
SAVINGS

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Religious News Serv ice

H
-

A child at Kibbutz Tel-Yosef symbolically gathers the first
harvest from the fields. Shavuot begins June 2.

Shavuot: Major Festival
With Many Names

DVORA WAYSMAN

Special to the Jewish News

LOOK, SHOP, GET YOUR BEST DEAL
BUT DON'T BUY UNTIL YOU SEE THE
UNBEATABLE DEALER!
28111 Telegraph and 12 Mile
at 1-696

10 Friday, May 29, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

If you own a prayer book with
English translations, your
machzor will probably read
Pentecost on the binding and
The Feast of Weeks on the title
page. But these are only two of
the many names by which
Shavuot is known and — like its
name — it is a festival of many
meanings.
Shavuot is Hebrew for
"weeks," from the root word for
seven, signifying that it falls
after the seven weeks of the
Omer period, counted from
Passover. The word Pentecost is
taken from the Greek for 50, as
it falls on the 50th day from
Passover, which is 6 Sivan, cor-
responding this year to June 3.
At the time of the Bible, this
festival was purely an
agricultural one. It marked the
season of the wheat harvest,
hence its name Chag Habik-
kurim, Festival of the First
Fruits. In Jerusalem, during
Temple times, a freewill offer-
/ ing of wheat was brought in the
form of two loaves baked from
fine wheat flour.
Shavuot is also known by the
name Zman Matan Toratanu,
the Giving of our Law. The rab-
bis reason that from the times
mentioned in Exodus for the
journeyings of the Israelites
after they left Egypt, the Giv-

ing of the Law must have taken
place exactly fifty days after
Passover.
After the destruction of the
Second Temple, the agricultural
aspect of the festival became
less significant and the
religious aspect gained in pro-
minence. Some synagogues,
however, are adorned at
Shavuot with boughs of
greenery and sometimes a
crown of flowers is placed atop
a Torah scroll. In the Middle
Ages it was the custom to scat-
ter sweet-smelling herbs in the
synagogue.
A , further link with the
agricultural aspect of the
festival is the festival is that
the book of Ruth is read on
Shavuot, which includes many
mentions of the grain harvest.
The very beautiful book of
Ruth, which is also a love story,
records the birth of King David,
her descendant, who — accor-
ding to the Talmud — was born
and died on Shavuot.
One of the customs of the
festival is that of Tikkun Leil
Shavuot, when devout Jews
stay up all night on the eve of
Shavuot to study lbrah. A
small section is read from every
book of the Bible and every sec-
tion of the Talmud — a symbolic
study of the entire body of
Jewish writings, for at mid-
night it is believed, the heavens
open, enabling thoughts and
prayers to ascend easily to the
Almighty.

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