Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

June 12, 2005

Blogging Hiatus

Filed under: — Different River @ 8:00 pm

I’ll be taking a blogging hiatus from this evening until Tuesday evening or Wednesday, for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot .

Shavuot commemorates God’s giving the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai over 3,300 years ago. This event took place fifty days after the Exodus from Egypt — so naturally, Shavuot (also pronounced “Shavuos”) comes fifty days after Passover, which commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. Because of the “fifty days,” the name of the hoiday is sometimes given in English as “Pentecost” — but I’ve never heard Jews refer to it that way, and I’m 99.9% sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the Pentacostal church.

4 Responses to “Blogging Hiatus”

  1. TigerHawk Says:

    “Pentacost” means “fifty,” so it actually does describe the period betwen Passover and Shavuos. As it happens, it is also a Christian “feast,” if you will. Jesus had risen from the dead (in our tradition), and asked the apostles to wait for a sign that would send them into the world to preach the lessons of the “Jesus movement,” which is probably as good a term as any for early Christianity. Fifty days after The Last Supper (i.e., Passover), people gathered in Jerrusalem (presumably for Shavuos) suddenly all were able to understand each other, notwithstanding that they spoke many different languages. This miracle was taken as the sign that the apostles should begin their campaign to promote the story of Jesus.

  2. Different River Says:

    Interesting. Does that “understanding” have something to do with the “speaking in toungues” practice of the Pentacostal Church?

    (By the way, even if the answer is “yes,” I’d still say the connection is tenuous enough that I’m safe saying that Shavuos has nothing to do with that church.)

  3. romy Says:

    about the practice of speaking in tongues … yes, it’s related to the pentacostal church. one of the signs/gifts of the holy spirit, which descended unto the apostles fifty days after the resurrection of christ, was the ability to speak in tongues – i.e., to be understood by the masses, even when those masses were not from galilee.

    about shavuos – is this the same holiday as ghribi? i read about the tunisian festivities from this past week and they sound fascinating. festive indeed.

  4. Different River Says:

    Romy: I don’t know if I’m more impressed that you knew about this, or more embarrassed that I had to go to Google to look it up!

    But no, they are not the same. The festival you refer to is the celebration at the Tunisian synagogue “El Ghriba” of Lag B’Omer, which is a minor festival on the Jewish calendar that took place this past May 27. See here and some background information on El Ghriba here. For more information on Lag B’Omer, see here.

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