(sha-voo-OAT) n. Weeks. Exactly seven weeks after the festival of First fruits is the celebration of Shavu’ot (“Feast of Weeks”). This is the second of the three pilgrimage festivals where all of Israel was commanded to ascend to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices of their first fruits at the altar (wheat harvest). It is to be a holy convocation with no laborious work (Num. 28:26-31). Since Shavu’ot occurs on the 50th day after the first Sabbath of Passover, the Greek translators of the Torah called this day “Pentecost.”

It was during this festival that the apostles received the holy spirit and when 3,000 Jewish people were saved (Acts 2:1-21, 37-41). The 49 day countdown to the holiday is called the “Counting of the Omer”. Every day a special blessing was recited naming exactly how many more days were left before the climactic 50th day – a Jubilee of days! It is customary to read the entire Book of Ruth during Shavu’ot (Ruth 1:1-4:22).

This festival is a picture of the wedding feast we will all partake in with the Lord when our Messiah returns (Luke 12:36 ). Two loaves of bread are used to represent the coming together of two peoples: the Jews and the Gentiles. It is traditional to eat dairy foods during this festival; foods containing lots of cheeses, butter and cream, such as: cheesecakes, blintzes, and cheese-filled pastries.