party time!

image borrowed from

image borrowed from

I finished up Leviticus this morning – chapters 22 to 27 – which had more meaty stuff than i could possibly fit in a blog, so here’s a bit from chapter 23.

He starts of the chapter reminding them about the Sabbath day, then goes down the list of religious holidays.

  • Passover (Pesach)
  • Unleavened Bread – right after passover
  • First Fruits (Yom Habikkurim) – a symbolic portion brought from the very first of the harvest
  • Pentecost or Feast of Weeks (Shavu’ot) – 50 days after First Fruits
  • Trumpets
  • Atonement (Yom Kipur)
  • Booths (Sukkot)

For three of these – Passover, Pentecost, and Sukkot – all males in Israel were required to go to Jerusalem (Exodus 23 and 34).

It’s interesting to me that the entire public requirements of the Torah were fulfilled during these few holidays.  The rest was focused more around the family – a good thing, I think.

Of course, it wasn’t possible to stay that way.  One way religious people people maintain control is by coming up with new responsibilities.  So by Jesus’ day there were rabbi’s and synagogue’s in every town and commentaries about commentaries interpreting what God said.  There were meetings at the synagogue on Sabbath mornings where the rabbis would explain what the Torah said and what the commentaries said about it.  Obviously a normal person certainly couldn’t be trusted for such scholarly activities.


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