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Shavuot: A festival for the law

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 Mullah Jacub's Synagogue, Isfahan, Iran, 2006. This synagogue was built about 600 years ago. Photo by Hamed Saber via xxx https://www.flickr.com/photos/hamed/182421476 yyy Wikimedia Commons. Some rights reserved (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en)


Mullah Jacub’s Synagogue, Isfahan, Iran, 2006. This synagogue was built about 600 years ago. Photo by Hamed Saber via Wikimedia Commons. Some rights reserved  (CC-BY-20).

Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, began at sundown yesterday (May 23) for the world’s estimated 14 million Jews. Shavuot celebrates the giving of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai.

The holiday is one of the three Jewish “pilgrim festivals,” along with Passover and Sukkot, meant to recall the Israelites’ escape from slavery in Egypt and subsequent wanderings in the Sinai desert. Shavuot takes its name from Passover, which it follows by seven weeks — a “week of weeks.”

Synagogues observe Shavuot with the reading of the Ten Commandments. Some also read the biblical story of Ruth, who converted to Judaism and became the grandmother of King David. The story is seen as a historical parable of commitment to God and the holy law.

In recent years, many synagogues have increasingly held confirmation on Shavuot, as their young men and women take on the promise to obey the holy law.

— James D. Davis

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Written by Jim Davis

May 24, 2015 at 4:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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