REPORT: "Shavuot" - session of the Jerusalem YIE on 24th of May 2004
- On Monday 24th of May 2004, the group met to discuss the differences
between Catholic and Protestant theology. Unfortunately Maher, who was
going to give the presentation, was unable to attend. Instead we talked
about upcoming Jewish festival, Shavout. Besides the importance of
cheesecake, Shavout, similar to so many other Jewish festivals, has the
dual identity of being both an agricultural festival and a spiritual
religious festival. Shavout is the celebration of the wheat harvest while
also (historically later) being the celebration of the "Receiving of the
This was also a chance to discuss the holiness of the temple mount as
opposed to Mt. Sinai and this led us to a discussion about the Temple
Mount at present, especially the Friday prayer at the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Salah shared a number of his experiences of the prayers especially on
Ramadan, and also gave us a detailed illustration of the grounds: where
men and women sit, people who come late, and even the police. We also
discovered that the night of the Receiving of the Koran, Laylato- lqadr,
and Tikun lel Shavout (night of the Receiving of the Torah - Asabeea' in
Arabic) are celebrated in very similar ways. In Shavuot as in lylato-lqadr
Moslems and Jews stay up all night long prying and reading from the holy
books, and we noticed the similarity in the personal feeling of the
praying person as getting tired or getting mixed up.
We wondered about is there any such a night in which the people of the
Christian faith too stay up all night to praise God and if in this night
something special happened like revelation or so.
Chanael Rosen & Salah Aladdien
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