Celebrating God's Gifts on Shavuot
Dear Friend of The Fellowship,
At sundown on May 19, Jews will observe Shavuot, a holiday with dual significance.
The roots of Shavuot come from the book of Leviticus: “From the day after the Sabbath... count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord” (Leviticus 23:15-16). So, 50 days after Passover, Jews recall when the “first fruits” were brought to the Temple in Jerusalem as an offering to God in biblical times.
Shavuot also commemorates the giving of the Torah (the first five books of what Christians call the Old Testament) to Moses at Mount Sinai. This monumental event is of fundamental importance not just to Jews, but to Christians - and, indeed, the entire world. Biblical principles form the heart of Western civilization. Our moral sense, our belief in personal liberty, and our system of law would not exist without them.
Our civilization seems even more precious today set against current events in Israel. The “light unto the nations” that is modern-day Israel shines even brighter because of the oppressive regimes that surround it.
Thankfully, Israel has dedicated friends - like you! As the holiday of Shavuot approaches, I am deeply grateful for your committed and faithful support for the work of The Fellowship. Because of you, Israel knows that she has friends who stand with her. And as we celebrate the gift of God’s law, we celebrate too the great gift of friends who stand with us in our struggle for a peaceful and secure Israel.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President and Founder, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews® of Canada
Rabbi’s Commentary Archive