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How Much does a Pentecost?

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Topic: Pentecost, Meaning

Name@Withheld wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Does Pentecost mean Shavuot?

Sort of. Pentecost is Greek for "the fiftieth day." It's a non-Jewish term for our Shavuot holiday, which occurs 50 days after Passover.

We call it Shavuot, meaning "weeks." The Torah tells us to count "seven weeks" after Passover and then to celebrate a holiday.

Whatever you call it, Shavuot is not given a specific calendar date in the Torah, but instead is designated as being a certain number of days from Passover. This emphasizes the fact that Passover and Shavuot are not separate holidays; they are connected.

What's the connection between Passover and Shavuot? Freedom. Passover is freedom from Egypt; Shavuot is freedom from inner evil. Shavuot celebrates the Torah and the commandments we were taught at Mount Sinai. The Torah teaches us how to conquer the enemy within; the commandments turn all our talents and actions toward doing good.

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