Shavuot is one of Israel’s most revered biblical holidays, as it commemorates the giving of God’s Word at Mt. Sinai. The holiday has entered the Christian calendar as Pentecost, the day of the outpouring of God’s spirit on the local body of Yeshua’s followers in Jerusalem. So, for Israeli believers, Shavuot is doubly important.
Shavuot is also a holiday in which there is a national gathering of local Israeli believers. Organized by the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel, all the congregations are invited to gather at the Messianic moshav of Yad HaShmonah in the hills outside Jerusalem, and this year was no different. In fact, some remarked that the number of participants at this year’s gathering – held on Sunday, May 24 – seemed even larger that previous years.
For thousands of years, Israelis have made this annual journey up to Jerusalem for Shavuot. It has always been and continues to be a unique and special time of bonding for the whole family.
Walking through the hills of the pine tree forests, participants were greeted by the sounds of vibrant Hebrew music. Messianic worship teams from around the country set the tone throughout the day, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. There was also a time of prayer and dedication for the children, both born and unborn, and giving thanks to the Lord for the fruits of the womb.
The gathering, referred to by many as the Shavuot picnic, also includes an open-air fair of local Messianic ministries, arts and crafts. Throughout the day, participants walked among the many tables to learn about recent activities and offerings from local believers.
And, naturally, there was plenty of food. But perhaps the most delightful and significant part of these gatherings is the rich fellowship. Grandparents proudly showing off their new grandchildren, parents hoisting little ones up on shoulders to see over the crowds, and Messianic brothers and sisters greeting one another with hugs and smiles make this yearly event feel like a family reunion.