Chag Samekh everyone, Happy Holiday!
Today is Shavuot, the Jewish Festival of Weeks. It's an agricultural holiday in which the Israelites of the Bible and in Israel, and throughout the world today celebrate the first fruits of the harvest. In ancient days the people would bring the first fruits of harvest of the season to Jerusalem to offer to God. It is also the day in which the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai is commemorated. Many Jews stay up all night long studying the Torah and particularly the Book of Ruth.
My son Dan and his friend Brandi have been visiting and we were invited to spend Erev Shavuot, the evening before Shavuot, at Kibbutz Tzuba with friends who live on the kibbutz. Tzuba is a vibrant kibbutz about 25 minutes west of Jerusalem. While the agricultural business, like in the US, is hurting Tzuba has been able to maintain a little of this business. In addition they manufacture glass for windshields, have an ulpan (an intensive Hebrew language class), an run Kaf Tzuba - an entertainment place for children.
There are approximately 500 people who live at Tzuba. Only 200 and some have voting rights for the kibbutz.
Last night there was a grand celebration. Long tables with white tablecloths were set up as well as a stage for entertainment. It's traditional to wear white on this night and for dairy products only to be served. (no meat but lots of cheeses and vegetable dishes) Many young girls had white dresses on and where wearing flower garlands in their hair. The food tables where decorated with fresh sunflowers which are abundant in Israel. We were unable to stay for the entertainment but at one point they invite all of the babies who were born throughout the year to come up for a special blessing.
Below are photos of Dan, Brandi, Rebe, Reuvan,Yael, Yasmin, Eden, and new little Eitan Yoav.
Eden has never been shy before!