29 MAY – 06 SIVAN
The days of Counting the Omer [Sefirat Ha'Omer] conclude with the celebration of the Jewish festival of Shavuot.
Shavuot, falling on 6th Sivan is one of the three Jewish PILGRIMAGE feasts. Shavuot, also called Hag Hashavuot [שבועות חג] meaning “the Festival of Weeks,” has agricultural roots in the “first fruits” of the late harvest, and, in post Temple spirituality, spiritual links to the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Shavuot is often called Hag Matan Torateinu (The Festival of the Giving of Our Torah).
While Shavuot has harvest links it is, at the same time, a festival which has always incorporated an “encounter” spirituality. As with all three Pilgrim festivals this encounter was one in which all people who were able were required to participate. Practically, this encounter between the person [nefesh|soul] and God took place at the altar of the Temple in Jerusalem.
The importance of the spiritual encounter with the LORD is only fully realized in the later transformation of Shavuot by the rabbis (after the loss of the Temple) into a festival which links the Exodus from Mitzrayim (The Passover) with the Gift of the Torah at Sinai.
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