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The Heart of Torah


Torah Portion: Shavuot

Shabbat: Fri. May 26th -day Sivan 6, 5783


Priestly Blessing

“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26


The Fruit of the Spirit

The Torah instructs us to count forty nine days – seven "weeks of days" – from the day following the Sabbath of Passover until the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost or "Weeks"). This period of time is called Sefirat Ha'Omer ("counting the sheaves"). Every day during this season, a special blessing is recited naming exactly how many more days are left before the "seven weeks of days" are complete.

Surely God did not want the Jewish people to miss something important here! Could He have made it any clearer? It's almost as if there was a dotted line pointing directly from Firstfruits to Shavuot - a "Jubilee" of days:

Traditional Judaism regards Shavuot as the anniversary of "mattan Torah" (מתן התורה), the time that the Torah was given at Mount Sinai. As one of the three required "pilgrimage festivals" (shelosh regalim), Jews from all over the world would come to Jerusalem to celebrate and reaffirm their commitment to the covenant made at Sinai.

And indeed such was the custom when God delivered the Substance of which the festival of Shavuot was merely a "type and a shadow." For the New Testament reveals that Shavuot is the climax of God's plan for our deliverance through Yeshua, the true Lamb of God (Seh Ha'Elohim). The countdown to Shavuot represents the ratification of the anticipated New Covenant (בּרית חדשׁה) to mankind, since it was on this very day that the Holy Spirit was given to the followers of the Messiah.

With a touch of divine irony, on the very day that Jews from around the world gathered in Jerusalem to reaffirm their commitment to the covenant of Moses, the Holy Spirit descended upon Israel to offer the promise of the New Covenant to all who would believe (see Acts 2:1-42). This new covenant makes Torah a matter of the heart, written by the God's Spirit, and yielding a life fruitful in the praise of God (Gal. 5:22-23; Heb. 13:15).

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