Friday, July 1, 2011

When does the count to Shavuot begin?

The correct date of Shavuot is probably the most controversial and most argued about of all the appointed times of YHWH, besides Pesach. This is due to a lot of confusion created by Rabbis and other men’s ideas on when it should be. The Scripture however is very clear on this point and easy to understand. All we are to do is read the Scripture for ourselves.

The Scripture teaches us: “And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה (YHWH)” (Lev 23:15-16). So what the Scripture is saying here is that we are to start the counting of the omer from the Sabbath that falls in the feast of unleavened bread (Matzot).

Let us first have a look at what Rabbinical Judaism teaches us when the count of the omer (that is the count till Shavuot) begins. Judaism teaches us that the first day of Matzot is a Sabbath and we are to start the count of the omer from the day after the first day of Matzot. There is one very critical error with this as we will see soon.

To understand why this is not correct, we need to fully understand the attributes of the Appointed times of YHWH. Not all His appointed times have Shabbat status.

The Hebrew word Shabbaton, which describes a specific day to have Sabbath status, is found 11 (eleven) times in the Tanach, all of which occur in the Torah of Mosheh. 6 of those times, the word is used in the phrase Shabbat Shabbaton, and the other 5 occurrences the word Shabbaton is used independent of the phrase above. The term Shabbaton is used to describe the weekly Sabbath and each of the 7th month moadim (appointments).  It also describes the 7th year rest for the land. The word Shabbaton occurs 11 times in 10 verses:  Used for: Sabbath (Shemot/Exodus 16:23; 31:15; 35:2; Vayiqra/Leviticus 23:3), Yom Teru’ah (Vayiqra/Leviticus 23:24), Yom Kippur (Vayiqra/Leviticus 16:31; 23:32), Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles) (Vayiqra/Leviticus 23:39 twice), every seventh year (Vayiqra/Leviticus 25:4, 5).

The word Shabbat and Sheva (Seven) are synonymous with each other and go hand in hand with each other.  The Shabbat is on the Seventh day, the land must rest (Shabbat) every Seventh year, all the appointed times of YHWH that are in the Seventh moon (month) all have Shabbat status etc. On the other side of the coin, none of the appointed times of YHWH that fall in the first and third moons have Shabbat status.

So it is very clear to see that Rabbinical Judaism have it wrong when it comes to the start of the count of the omer as the first and last days of Matzot do not have Shabbat status. So there is only one other option then to when the count must begin. This is of course from the weekly Sabbath that falls in the time period during the feast of unleavened bread (Matzot). Because of this, Shavuot will always fall on a first day of the week. 

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