A holiday with five names?
if it were a person, might have a complex about its many
names, since it has five:
- The "Festival of Weeks." The Passover-to-Shavuot
- Zman Matan
Torateinu - Literally, the "Time of Receiving our
Torah." In the Jewish classic "To be a Jew" (Basic Books,
1972), Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin writes that the word "receiving"
is used-rather than "giving"-because while the giving
happened once, "The receiving of the Torah by Jews must
continue to take place every day." If ever there's a rabbinical
answer, that's it.
HaBikkurim - "Holiday of the First Fruits," when the
fruit harvest begins. The first fruits of the seven fruits
of Israel-wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives,
and dates-were also brought to the Holy Temple for an
- "Conclusion," which refers to the end of the period
that began with Passover, as if the seven weeks were one
- Chag HaKatzir
-- The "Festival of Harvest," since the holiday takes
place at the time of year when wheat is harvested.