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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some Shavuot Joy

Tonight begins the Jewish Holiday of Shavuot the anniversary of when God Gave us the Ten Commandments. Along with Passover and Sukkot, Shavout is one of the three major Jewish festivals. In biblical times, Jews used to leave their homes and travel to Jerusalem and the Holy Temple during the three festivals to make special offerings to God.



There is an Old Story about a religious school Gan (kindergarten) teacher talking to her students about Shavuot. "OK Class, who knows why we celebrate Shavout?"

"OOOH, OOOH I know," said little Karen, "Shavout is when we light candles and celebrate the Maccabees."

"No Karen,that's Chanukah good try." Said the teacher. "Anybody else?"

Shmully raised his hand. "Shavout is when we wear costumes and play with noise makers"

"Sorry Shmully, that is Purim." the teacher said. Just then a little boy in the back of the room raised his hand. "Yes Johnny?"

"I know Shavout," Johnny said tentatively," You see, Moses went up the mountain and stayed for 40 days and 40 nights."

"That's right Johnny, the teacher encouraged.

'After 40 days Moses came down the mountain carrying two stone tablets that had the Ten Commandments on them" He continued.

"Keep going" said the teacher

"And if he sees his shadow we have six more weeks of winter."





And Now for the real version ...The Festival of Shavuot, the anniversary of when God Gave us the Ten Commandments. I thought that I would post them below, before the PC Police says I can't:

Shemot - Chapter 20
1 And G-d spoke all these words, saying:
2 I am HaShem thy G-d, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
5 thou shalt not bow down unto them, nor serve them; for I HaShem thy G-d am a jealous G-d, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me;
6 and showing mercy unto the thousandth generation of them that love Me and keep My commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of HaShem thy G-d in vain; for HaShem will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work;
10 but the seventh day is a sabbath unto HaShem thy G-d, in it thou shalt not do any manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates;
11 for in six days HaShem made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore HaShem blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which HaShem thy G-d giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not murder.
13 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
13 Thou shalt not steal.
13 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
14 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. 15 And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the horn, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off.
16 And they said unto Moses: 'Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not G-d speak with us, lest we die.'
17 And Moses said unto the people: 'Fear not; for G-d is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before you, that ye sin not.'
18 And the people stood afar off; but Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where G-d was.
19 And HaShem said unto Moses: Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel: Ye yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
20 Ye shall not make with Me--gods of silver, or gods of gold, ye shall not make unto you.
21 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto Me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt-offerings, and thy peace-offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come unto thee and bless thee.
22 And if thou make Me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones; for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast profaned it.
23 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto Mine altar, that thy nakedness be not uncovered thereon.

The Picture Below is what Moses really looks like (either that or its me holding a pool cue)

Have a Joyous and Meaningful Shavout

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