Reposted with permission from Rabbi Arthur Waskow from the Shalom Center
by Rabbi Arthur Waskow
May 26, 2009
Celebrating Shavuot & Pentecost: Can We Share Our Food? Can We Share Our Talk & Tongues?
Can We Relearn how to Share our Work & Rest?
This coming Thursday evening, May 28, there begins the festival of Shavuot. — In biblical times, it was seen as celebration time for the successful spring wheat and barley harvests. In Rabbinic Judaism, it has been seen as the celebration time for the harvesting of Torah at Mount Sinai, 50 days after the liberation from Egypt.
The ancient rabbis assigned a special reading for Shavuot: the Book of Ruth, which focuses on harvesting, on tongues of native and of “foreign” speech, of wealth and poverty. What does Ruth mean to us today?
For Christians, that day became Pentecost, now counted 50 days after Easter (this year on Sunday, May 31), when the Holy Spirit came like the rush of a strong and driving wind, helping the early community of believers speak and understand all the languages of every nation under heaven.