What Does The Word Shavuot Mean?
“Shavuot” is the Hebrew word for “weeks.” The Torah tells us to count seven full weeks after the second day of Pasover to Shavuot. In ancient times, the Israelites were an agricultural people who brought sheaves of grain as gifts to the Temple for these seven weeks.
On the fiftieth day, Shavuot, they brought loaves of bread made out of the new grain.
The holiday is also called Hag HaBikkurim (Hebrew for Holiday of the First Fruit) as it marks the beginning of the fruit harvest when the first ripe fruits were brought to the Temple as an offering of thanksgiving.
What Does The Holiday Of Shavuot Celebrate?
Seven weeks after the Hebrew slaves left Egypt— seven weeks after Passover— the Israelites were transformed into the Jewish people when they received the Torah at Mt. Sinai.
The tradition tells us that everyone who is a Jew today stood at the mountain with the children of Israel— and the “strangers in the camp” were there too (Deuteronomy 29:9-14).
At Pesach (Passover), we are all encouraged to see ourselves as having been in Egypt. At Shavuot, we are encouraged to see ourselves as part of the crowd that stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai. You can get a sense of the awesome power of that encounter by reading the story starting with Exodus 18: “There was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud, the sound of a shofar (ram’s horn) and smoke. The earth itself quaked!” The Torah tells us that the people “saw the thunder.” So powerful was Sinai, our senses became interchangeable.
How Was The Torah Created?
The tradition tells us we received the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, at Mt. Sinai. In Exodus and
Deuteronomy, there are several different versions of what happened. The sages have interpreted the different version in several ways:
Whichever interpretation(s) you believe, all agree that it was a unique spiritual experience.
No matter what happened back then, we do know one thing.
Somewhere, sometime, something occurred that was so awe-inspiring that a people was born, their belief system founded on the principle that they are holy, connected to one another and to the Source— whatever that may be— that conferred meaning on them and on life everywhere. And in response to
that discovery, the Jews pledged themselves, individually and collectively, to join their will to God’s and to seek to increase holiness in the world.
[Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, The Tapestry of Jewish Time: A Spiritual Guide to Holidays and Life-Cycle Events.]
How is Shavuot Celebrated?
Shavuot begins at sundown with a holiday meal which includes blessings for candles, the holiday kiddush (blessing over the wine) and shehechiyanu (prayer of gratitude for reaching this day).
Because the Torah mentions the offering of two loaves of bread made from new grain, it is a custom to have two loaves of bread on the table. Some people bake two loaves of challah side-by-side, leaving them connected so they look like the two tablets of the commandments.
It is customary to eat a dairy meal at least once during Shavuot.
One reason is that it is a reminder of the promise that Israel would be a land flowing with “milk and honey.” Another reason might be because the Israelites abstained from eating meat as part of their purification before receiving the Torah.
No one really knows how this tradition started, but it is a good excuse to indulge in dairy delicacies.
Rice pudding and cheese-filled filo are common dishes in the Sephardic (Mediterranean) Jewish communities.
Jews of Kurdistan prepare a dish with ground wheat cooked in sour milk and butter that is served with dumplings. In Triploi, women bake wafers in the shape of a ladder that helped Moses to the top of Mt. Sinai or in the shape of the tablets.
Ashkenazi (European) Jews eat cheese filled crepes called blintzes and bake cheesecakes.
In the medieval period, mystics from Safed studied all night in preparation for the opening of heaven at midnight. They believed they would hear the echo of the giving of the Torah.
Some synagogues emulate this tradition with all-night study sessions, taking turns reading from the Torah and teaching each other until dawn. This ritual is called tikkun leil Shavuot (literally “healing for Shavuot night,” it is known as a “night of learning [for Shavuot]”).
Families can replicate this custom and make Shavuot a time when children are allowed to stay up late reading bible stories or watching movies with biblical themes while enjoying dairy snacks.
What is added to the regular synagogue service? Hallel, a collection of verses from Psalms, is traditionally chanted on all festivals.
Before the Torah portion of the week, which includes the reading of the Ten Commandments, the Book of Ruth is read.
Names for Shavuot
Because it is a multifaceted holiday, Shavuot is given different names in the Scriptures and in the Jewish tradition:
Chag Shavuot (“The Festival of Weeks”); the Hebrew word sheva means seven, shavu’ah means week, and Shavuot means weeks. Exodus 34:22; Deut. 16:10
Chag Hakatzir (“The festival of the Harvest) Exodus 23:16
Yom Habikkurim (“The Day of First Fruits”) Num. 28:26 (not to be confused with the festival of First Fruits (Lev. 23:9-12).
Bikkurei Ketzir Chittim (“The first fruits of the wheat”) Exodus 34:22
Yom HaKahal (“The Day of Assembly”) Deut. 18:16
Z’man Mattan Torateinu “The season of the giving of the Torah”
The two-month wait is nearly over now, and we anticipate a time to recommit our lives to the LORD God of Israel. On Shavuot Jews are commanded to remember the revelation given at Sinai (Deut. 4:9) and to spiritually reenact kabbalat ha-Torah (the receiving of the Torah).
This is symbolic of a wedding day, when God betrothed Israel as His own people, separate from all others.
The goal of Passover redemption was to set us free to become God’s own treasured people (am segulah), a light to the nations: ambassadors for Heaven’s voice... According to some of the sages, the entire Jewish nation will one day be saved from their spiritual exile on Shavuot.
As Messianic Jews and gentiles alike, we understand that our Passover redemption was designed by God to set us free to become appointed heirs (κληρονομοι) with Yeshua (Jesus) and to identify with His redemptive purposes in the earth (Rom. 8:17, Titus 3:7, etc.).
By God’s chesed we are now called God’s own treasured people (am segulah), a light to the nations: ambassadors for the Kingdom of God (1 Peter 2:9).
We have been saved from or spiritual exile when the Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) was given to us (Acts2).
Exodus 14 – 17, RuthCollectively, the followers of Yeshua are called kallat Mashiach - the bride of the Messiah (2 Cor. 11:2, Rom. 7:4, Eph. 5:25-27, Rev. 21:9, 22:17). Presently we are living during a betrothal period in which the bride and groom are separated until the wedding.
Our responsibility during this age is to be faithful to our Heavenly Bridegroom (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:24). When Yeshua returns, we will finally be united with Him and the glorious "wedding ceremony" will take place (Rev. 19:7-9; 21:1-2).
Not a Biblical Holiday but in the light of all Jewish and Christian Persecution one time to stand still with all that has past and learn from history and see what is truly going on in this world.
Establishment of the HolidayThe full name of the day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is “Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah”— in Hebrew literally translated as the "Day of (remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism." It is marked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan — a week after the end of the Passover holiday and a week before Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers). It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The date was selected in a resolution passed by Israel's Parliament, the Knesset, on April 12, 1951. Although the date was established by the Israeli government, it has become a day commemorated by Jewish communities and individuals worldwide. The day's official name - Holocaust and Heorism Remembrance Day - was made formal in a law enacted by the Knesset on August 19, 1953; on March 4, 1959, the Knesset passed another law which determined that tribute to victims of the Holocaust and ghetto uprisings be paid in public observances. While Yom Hashoah rituals are still in flux there is no question that this day holds great meaning for Jews and those that love Israel and God's chosen people worldwide. The overwhelming theme that runs through all observances is the importance of remembering — recalling the victims of this catastrophe, and insuring that such a tragedy never happen again. The Shoah (Holocaust) posed an enormous challenge to Judaism and raised many questions: Can one be a believing Jew after the Holocaust? Where was God? How can one have faith in humanity? Facing this recent event in history, does it really matter if one practices Judaism? Jewish theologians and laity have struggled with these questions for decades. The very fact that Jews still identify Jewishly, practice their religion — and have embraced the observance of Yom Hashoah answers some of the questions raised by the Holocaust.
The importance of Remembering
We always talk about remembering in conjunction with the Holocaust. Remember the six million. The world must remember so that a holocaust can never again happen. Remember those who perished in order to honor them and give their deaths meaning.
Memory Has Brought Us This Far
It is memory that has allowed us to last through thousands of years of history. Our religion and our people are founded on the collective memory of revelation at Sinai. Scripture throughout commands us to remember: Remember the Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8), observe the Sabbath as a reminder of the Creation (Exodus 20:11) and of the Exodus (Deuteronomy 5:15); remember, continually, the Exodus; remember what the evil Amalek did
All those memories define us and help us keep focused on the goal of our national mission. As the Baal Shem Tov (the founder of [Hasidism]) taught, “Forgetfulness leads to exile while remembrance is the secret of redemption,” words that appropriately guard your exit from the history museum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
The wall above the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC also invokes memory. “Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life. And you shall make them known to your children and to your children’s children” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
Memory as a Positive Force
The biblical citation etched into that wall, while an apt admonition in the face of Auschwitz, is out of context. What the original usage enjoins us never to forget is the experience at Mount Sinai and the laws given to us there, the positive context for purposeful living.
What we have to keep in mind in recalling the Holocaust is that memory must function, as it does in the Bible, as a positive force. It should not be used to inflict guilt and exact vengeance and certainly should not be (as unfortunately occurs) the defining element of Jewish life.
We cannot raise our children to be healthy, constructive Jews by cowering them with expectations that the anti-Semitic world will force Jewish identification on them. Being Jewish mainly because the Holocaust happened or because anti-Semitism continues is not sufficient reason to hang on to a culture.
The Jews who maintained their heritage for thousands of years did so not because they were surrounded by rabid anti-Semitism. (Until Hitler’s demonic program, they always had the option to abandon Judaism for another belief system.) They did so because their way of life had value.
Memory and Jewish Renewal
While you are teaching your children about this painful period, remember to teach them that: Don’t talk only about the destruction but about what was destroyed: the rich culture, the intellectual accomplishments, the colorful tradition that was Eastern European Jewish life. Our heritage, our unique value system, our contributions to the world are what we must remember along with our troubled history. These are the memories that will prompt us to effectively engage in the revitalization of Jewish life.
The question each of us must ask is “How will I participate in Jewish renewal?” It may be through your children: raising them to be informed, identified Jews. (One suggested response to the tremendous loss of Jewish life is that each family have one more child than it had planned, to replenish the population, and its potential progeny, cut down by Hitler.)
Strengthening the community by supporting–with money and volunteer efforts–the institutions devoted to promoting Jewish life (physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual) is a widespread response. Helping ensure that Israel continues to grow and progress so there will always be a safe haven for Jews is of utmost importance.
Memory, Creativity and Learning
If you are creative, produce art, literature, music, dance, or film on Jewish themes. Whether or not you are creative, read Jewish books, visit Jewish museums, attend Jewish programs, subscribe to Jewish periodicals. And, most of all, learn. Learning has always been a cornerstone of Jewish continuity and renewal.
In biblical days, the Israelites emerged from periods of idolatry, devastation, and exile by returning to Torah–reading it, trying to understand and live by it. [In modern times, ] from the ashes of the respected European yeshivot [academies] destroyed in the 1940’s have arisen new Jewish academies and other educational programs in Israel and in America (many of them supported by funds from Jews who are not themselves particularly tradition-minded or Jewishly well educated).
Day school, supplemental, family, and adult education programs are continually being expanded. Make sure your children have access to formal Jewish education (don’t overlook a good Jewish youth group or summer camp), and take advantage of learning opportunities yourself (don’t overlook the possibility of organizing or attending a study group in someone’s home).
All of these acts, while honoring the memory of the generations that preceded us, will create positive new memories and strong new Jewish realities for the generations that follow.
Eagle Wings Charismatic Ministries International
Secretariat8100 Ingrid Drive
Elgin, TX 78621
United States of America
Pastor Chidozie Emachafor
BiographyBiography of Chineduchidozie Chukwudi .N.Emechafor.
Pastor Chidozie Emachafor is from Obazu Mbieri, in Mbaitoli, Local Government Area of Imo State,Nigeria.
Chidozie was born on February 28th, 1982 as the 2nd out of six children.
He attended Secondary School in Obazu Community Secondary School.
After school he proceeded to Lagos City where he worked with Donas Motors Company Nigeria Limited Surulere as a Sales Representative and in the year 2009, traveled to Russia to learn an additional trade.
In the year 2013 he returned to Nigeria and got married to Dr. Evang.Nnenna Chidozie (Optometrist) in 2013.
Their marriage is blessed with two lovely children, a boy and a girl.
Chimeremking David is 4 and daughter Chidire Evidence is 2
Pst. Chidozie has earned a LCC Leadership Course Certificate, and received a Diploma from the LDC Leadership Course at Word of Faith Bible Institute in Aba Abia State Nigeria.
In 2015 Chidozie Emachafor was ordained as a Pastor.
lately, Pst. Chidozie has been traveling from the Eastern part of Nigeria to the West, evangelizing and converting Nigerian Students,Prison inmates and Market women and men with the newly founded Foundation, "Dodo Nachez Foundation and Ministries".
In the Eastern Nigeria Chidozie works as a pastor with Violent Christian Assembly Aba Abia State.
TestimonyWhile I was far way in Russia, I entered into several relationships with a plan to get married, as other African brothers with a goal to settle in Russia.
But to my surprise, all my efforts were in vain.
This made me angry and I decided to return to Nigeria and find a woman to marry.
While back in Nigeria, God revealed to me in a vision, that He did not want me to marry a foreign woman.
I then realized that God was behind my moves.
Immediately after my wedding, God took control of my life, I surrendered all and joined the ministry work.
However, He mandated me to begin studies without any delay, and work and help in Prison Ministries.
Initially, it was not easy, but after waiting and asking God for direction according to Jer. 33:3 I got confirmation.
My wife also told me that God had revealed to her that her husband would become a Pastor and that God said that He will be connecting me to a foreign Pastor who will mentor me even in the mist of great men and women of God in Nigeria.
Sequel to that in 2015 God connected me to Pastor Christiaan de Ruiter, of Eagle Wings Charistimatic Ministries International USA
Glory be to God.
Pastor Chidozie Emechafor
PassoverWith information from
What Is Passover?
The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan.
It commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. It is observed by avoiding leaven, and highlighted by the Seder meals that include four cups of wine, eating matzah and bitter herbs, and retelling the story of the Exodus.
In Hebrew it is known as Pesach (which means “to pass over”), because G d passed over the Jewish homes when killing the Egyptian firstborn on the very first Passover eve.
The Passover Story in a Nutshell
After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian pharaohs, during which time the Israelites were subjected to backbreaking labor and unbearable horrors, G d saw the people’s distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: “Send forth My people, so that they may serve Me.” But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed G d’s command. G d then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them and destroying everything from their livestock to their crops.
At the stroke of midnight of 15 Nissan in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), G d visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. While doing so, G d spared the children of Israel, “passing over” their homes—hence the name of the holiday. Pharaoh’s resistance was broken, and he virtually chased his former slaves out of the land. The Israelites left in such a hurry, in fact, that the bread they baked as provisions for the way did not have time to rise. Six hundred thousand adult males, plus many more women and children, left Egypt on that day and began the trek to Mount Sinai and their birth as G d’s chosen people.
In ancient times the Passover observance included the sacrifice of the paschal lamb, which was roasted and eaten at the Seder on the first night of the holiday. This was the case until Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in the 1st century.
Orthodox Passover Observances
Passover is divided into two parts:
The first two days and last two days (the latter commemorating the splitting of the Red Sea) are full-fledged holidays.
Holiday candles are lit at night, and kiddush and sumptuous holiday meals are enjoyed on both nights and days. We don’t go to work, drive, write, or switch on or off electric devices. We are permitted to cook and to carry outdoors.
The middle four days are called Chol Hamoed, semi-festive “intermediate days,” when most forms of work are permitted.
To commemorate the unleavened bread that the Israelites ate when they left Egypt, we don’t eat—or even retain in our possession—any chametz from midday of the day before Passover until the conclusion of the holiday. Chametz means leavened grain—any food or drink that contains even a trace of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt or their derivatives, and which wasn’t guarded from leavening or fermentation. This includes bread, cake, cookies, cereal, pasta, and most alcoholic beverages. Moreover, almost any processed food or drink can be assumed to be chametz unless certified otherwise.
Ridding our homes of chametz is an intensive process. It involves a full-out spring-cleaning search-and-destroy mission during the weeks before Passover, and culminates with a ceremonial search for chametz on the night before Passover, and then a burning of the chametz ceremony on the morning before the holiday. Chametz that cannot be disposed of can be sold to a non-Jew (and bought back after the holiday).
Instead of chametz, we eat matzah—flat unleavened bread. It is a mitzvah to partake of matzah on the two Seder nights, and during the rest of the holiday it is optional.
It is ideal to use handmade shmurah matzah, which has been zealously guarded against moisture from the moment of the harvest.
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