Just received the following from Nehemia Gordon. I believe it was Michael Rood who I first heard connect Shavout (Pentecost) with the Founding of the Jewish State in 1948. It is a very interesting reality. Many people poo poo the significance of the founding of Israel in 1948 because it was done by a "secular" world body (U.N.), but those people forget that YHVH used many secular leaders in the past to accomplish His purposes. King Cyrus of Persia (who YHVH called "anointed") helped Judah return to Zion the first time.
Shalom from exile,
From: *** email address removed ***
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 9:05 AM
To: *** email address removed ***
Subject: [Karaite Korner Newsletter] #385: Shavuot, the Ten Commandment, and the State of Israel
Shavuot, the Ten Commandments, and the State of Israel
We are now three days away from Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks! The Feast of Shavuot is often associated with the revelation at Sinai in which the Almighty proclaimed the Ten Commandments directly to the ancient Israelites. Scripture never actually connects Shavuot with this event. In the Torah, Shavuot is also known as the "Day of Firstfruits" (Numbers 28:26) and the "Feast of Harvest" (Exodus 23:16). However, the revelation of Sinai does appear to have taken place around the same time as Shavuot. The section in the Torah on the Ten Commandments opens with the statement that the Israelites arrived in the Sinai Desert on the 3rd month, but does not state on which day of the month this was (Exodus 19:1). The Hebrew phrase "on the 3rd month" can also mean "on the 3rd new moon". Shavuot itself is not a fixed day of the month but rather on the 50th day counted from the morrow after the Sabbath during Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread). Shavuot can fall out any time from 4th day of the 3rd month until the 12th, depending on when the "morrow after the Sabbath" during Chag HaMatzot. This means that the revelation of Sinai might have taken place on Shavuot, even though this is not stated anywhere in the Bible. We can say with confidence that the revelation at Sinai took place around the same time as Shavuot.
Recently I learned about another fascinating connection to Shavuot. In his new book "Restoring Abrahamic Faith" (available from http://genesis2000.org/), Professor James Tabor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte argues that the State of Israel was established on the biblical date of Shavuot. Most history books simply record that the modern Jewish state was founded on May 14, 1948 and some add that this was the 5th of Iyyar on the "Jewish" calendar. Of course, Iyyar is the Babylonian name used by the Rabbis to refer to the 2nd Biblical Month. On page 99 of his book Tabor writes:
"In 1948 the intercalated 13th month, Adar II, was added to the year, based on [the] mathematical Hillel calendar... However, if one goes by the observation method, as the Karaite Jews, and refrains from adding Adar II, everything is moved back one lunar month... This system of the observed calendar will obviously be restored in the future..."
Tabor concludes that based on the ancient and future biblical calendar there should not have been a 13th month in 1948 and therefore the State of Israel was really founded on Shavuot! This certainly is an exciting suggestion and if nothing else reminds us of the magnitude of the miracle that took place in 1948. Of course, no one was actually observing the Aviv in 1948 so there is no way to know for sure whether the State of Israel was established in the 3rd biblical month or the 2nd. Nevertheless, we can say with confidence that the establishment of the State of Israel took place around the same time as Shavuot.