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Ceremonies /
Proposal for Kabbalat Hag in the Family & Community

Kiddush for Shavuot

Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast chosen us from all peoples, and exalted us above all tongues, and sanctified us by thy commandments. And thou hast given us in love, O Lord our God, appointed times for gladness, festivals and seasons for joy; this day of the Feast of Weeks, the season of the Giving of our Law; an holy convocation, as a memorial of the departure from Egypt;

For thou hast chosen us, and sanctified us above all peoples, and thy holy appointed times thou hast caused us to inherit in joy and gladness.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, who sanctifiest Israel and the festive seasons.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God,

King of the universe,

Who has kept us in life, and hast preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.
[From The Standard Prayer Book]

Idioms speaking to me: We planted
in the furrow of the heart;
and a day will come and we will be
golden stalks.

And a tender child will come to you
to choose from flowers of wheat,
And a poor wanderer in your nights
will break his hunger.

Plowing and planting,
in the furrow of the heart,
Come, do come, stranger and friend,
to the nearing harvest festival.

Celebrate the Festival of Weeks
with the first fruits of the wheat harvest (Exodus 34:22)

“Count off seven weeks
from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.
Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you. (Deuteronomy 16:9-10).

Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the first fruits of the wheat harvest.
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.


Lyrics: traditional


Festival of the Harvest: In its original form, Shavuot was the “festival of the first fruits of the wheat harvest.”
The two main field crops are now as in ancient times, barley and wheat.

These are the two grains included in the seven species. Grain constitutes the basic food for most of humanity.

The harvest of the Omer on Passover is the beginning of the harvest of barley, towards its ripening.

Seven weeks later, in the Biblical era, was when the wheat harvest would begin.


Shibolet Basadeh (Ear of Grain in the Field)

Ear of grain in the field
bowed in the wind
from the weight of its seed, which is great.

And in the expanse of the mountains
the day already rises,
the sun is fine gold.

Arise, oh arise!
Look, sons of the village!
The tall grain has already ripened
in the meadows.

Harvest, extend the scythe
it's time for the beginning of the harvest.

A pure field of barley
is crowned with a holiday wreath,
an abundance of produce and blessing,
Just before the coming of the harvesters,
with shining brilliance,
silently, it waits for the sheaf

Come, brandish (the scythe),
Plow for yourselves the broken-up field.

It's a holiday for the standing grain,
The time of the beginning of the harvest.

Harvest, extend the scythe
it's time for the beginning of the harvest.

[Lyrics and Music: Matityahu Shalem]

Our barns are full of grain

Our barns are full of grain, our wineries full of wine,
Our homes are humming with babies
Our livestock is fertile
What more would you ask of us, our homeland,
that is still lacking.

[Lyrics: P. Elad Music: David Zahavi]


When you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it.

Take some of the first fruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the Lord your God is giving you and put them in a basket.
Then go to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name; and appear before the priest in office at the time, and say to him: “I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.”
The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God.
[Deuteronomy 26]


How does one designate the Bikkurim [first-fruits that must be brought to the Temple in Jerusalem and given to the Kohen]?
A person goes to one's field and sees a date that is bearing fruit, a bunch [of grapes] that is bearing fruit, or a pomegranate that is bearing fruit, and ties it with a string and says: "Behold these are Bikkurim.”
How do they bring the Bikkurim up [to Jerusalem]?
All the cities of a Ma'amad [one of 24 regions, each of which sent in turn a delegation to the Temple to be present and represent the entire people at the public sacrifices] would go into [central] city of the Ma'amad and sleep in the streets of that city without going into the houses. When they arose, the supervisor would say: "Arise! Let us go up to Zion, to the house of the Lord our God!” Those who were close would bring dates and grapes and the far ones would bring dried figs and raisins.

A bull would go before them and its horns would be plated with gold and it would have a olive wreath around its head.

The flute would play before them until they got close to Jerusalem.

Once they got close to Jerusalem, they would send ahead of them [a messenger] and adorned their Bikkurim.

The overseers and the officers and the treasurers would go out to greet them.

In accordance with the stature of those coming in would they go out.

All the artisans of Jerusalem would stand before them and greet them:
"Our brothers from so-and-so, come in peace!”
The flute would continue playing before them until they arrived at the Temple Mount.

Once they arrived at the Temple Mount, even Agripas the King would carry his basket on his shoulder and enter until he reached the courtyard.

Once they got to the courtyard, the Levites would speak in song (Psalms 30:2), "I will extol you, O Lord, because you have raised me and not allowed my enemies to rejoice over me.”

[Mishnah, Bikkurim, 3]

First Fruits

Here I have brought the fruit of my garden,
A full basket in all its splendor.

First fruits I have brought
And worn a wreath on my head

From the village to the city
A shepherd’s son leads a lamb and a kid,
Singing his songs aloud
Diddle, diddle, diddle-dee

A farmer’s son from the fruits of his garden
brings figs and pomegranates.

And in a basket on his shoulder
a pair of doves call


[Lyrics: Shmuel Bass, Music: Sara Levi Tanai]

Our baskets on our shoulders

Our baskets on our shoulders
our heads adorned with blooms
from every corner we come
bringing the first fruits

From Judea, from Judea and Samaria,

from the valley and the Galilee,

Move aside and give us way
we’re bringing first fruits;

bang, bang the drum;
and play the flute.

Our fields and our gardens
have ripened harvests
our vineyards, our vegetable beds
have produced wonderful first fruits
from the Golan, from the Bashan
from the Negev and the Jordan.

Move aside and give us way.

[Lyrics: Levin Kipnis, Music: Yedidya Admon]


After the destruction of the Second Temple, without a Temple, the Shavuot holiday evolved from an agricultural holiday to a spiritual holiday with the giving of the Torah at its center.

According to tradition, the Torah was given on Mt. Sinai on the sixth of Sivan, the date of the Shavuot holiday.

The Torah thus describes the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai:
On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain. On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

And God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen.”
[Exodus 19:20]

Enlighten our eyes with your Torah
and connect our hearts to Your Mitzvot
and inspire our hearts to love and revere
Your Name.

Then shall we never feel shame, never be embarrassed and never stumble.

[Lyrics: From the prayer, Music: Shlomo Carlebach]


On the Shavuot holiday, it is customary to read the Book of Ruth, one of the five ‘scrolls’ (Megillot) of the Bible. Nothing could be more suited to the holiday of the harvest and bikkurim than the Book of Ruth, entirely steeped in the fragrance of the field and atmosphere of the harvest. Moreover, it contains a great deal of charity, assistance to one’s fellow man and charity. The Book of Ruth is connected with King David who, according to tradition, was born and died on Shavuot.

But Ruth replied: “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

So Boaz said to Ruth: My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me.  Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you.

And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.

[From the Book of Ruth]

Thanksgiving / Avraham Shlonsky

The rain of G-d - blessed be He blessed be His name.

Wet grace from heaven;

Sing of bread, for its taste is good.

Sing of bread, for its taste is good.

Sing thanks to the water.

Look at the lump of soil - it is honest.

Its earth warm and planted;

Oh land, say the blessing at whose word all came to be,
give blessing over the rain and the wind.

For you rejoiced with the dew; this is your garden wet,
Breasts and womb shall be blessed in you.

Thank the bread, for the bread is good,
thank the bread.


Happy Holiday!

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