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Study and Theory/

Yitzhak Michaeli

Shavuot in Ein Harod 1926

From early afternoon, a great deal of traffic can be seen on the premises. Members decorating wagons with leaves and branches, fruits, flowers and work implements; each work branch trying to surprise and surpass the others in the splendor of its wagon. The children too have wagons according to age groups: Preschool, kindergarten and grade schools. This year, the holiday will be celebrated jointly by all bloc settlements that will be coming to Ein Harod in a procession of wagons. Everyone will assemble here. At one o’clock in the afternoon, Ein Harod will stand at the head of the procession, with bearers of first fruits leading, followed by the farm and field crops people. Ein Harod will go out to the train station and meet the processions from Geva and Ein Tivon [Kfar Yehezkel] by the station. From there they all return together in a common procession to the Ein Harod quarry.


In the quarry they will meet with Tel Yosef and Beit Alfa, and together march in one big procession down to the Ein Harod granary. Bearers of first fruits (bikkurim) will be leading, followed by the field crops group with the following equipment: Tractor with plow, disk harrow, mine plow, combine harvester, wagon with grain, and a threshing machine with a tractor and wagon loaded with bread and flour. After this, a planting wagon with its trees, a vegetable garden with the first vegetables, and a wagon for the chicken coup and beehive. And last but not least, the children’s wagon. After the wagons will be a throng of people, either on foot or on vehicles. The head of the procession shall pass through the grand gate, enter the granary and announce the ceremony of the brining of the first fruits.

The gifts of first fruits include: Two sacks of wheat seeds, jugs of milk, honeycombs, and six sheep. The moderator will then declare the redemption of the first fruits, dedicated to the Keren Hakayemet. All of this, for the revival of our people and our country in our ancient homeland.


This is a true revolution; we have thus made a real breakthrough, and shall celebrate the holiday in a different way than our ancestors in exile. We have now returned to the land. In exile this was a holiday of the home, full of spiritual content, with songs, prayer and holiday symbols to remind us of the physical splendor of the past. Just as we work the land, and drill wells and excavate in rock until we reach the pure groundwater, so we are obligated to strive and penetrate to reach the sources of our holidays, and redeem the purest ‘groundwater’ of our ancient culture from the depths of Jewish life in the past, and once again make it flow through the pipes of influence, clogged after so many years of exile.

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