Happy Shavuot!

What Is Shavuot?

Shavuot is a Jewish holiday/holy day celebrated on the sixth of Sivan to celebrate Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. It is the second of the three pilgrimage feasts in which Jews would travel to the Temple in Jerusalem to give their first fruits. The festival takes place exactly 50 days after the festival of Passover. Shavuot is referred to as Pentecost by Christians and is also sometimes referred to as the Feast of Weeks.

What Is the Proper Greeting for Shavuot?

The greeting for Shavuot is simply “Chag Sameach!” (Happy Holiday).

When Is Shavuot This Year?

Jewish Year 5773: Sunset May 14, 2013 – sunset May 16, 2013

What Bible Verse Corresponds With Shavuot?

“And it shall be, when you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land that the LORD your God is giving you, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide” (Deuteronomy 26:1-2 NKJV).

A Shavuot Blessing

May your home be filled with love,
May your heart be filled with peace,
May your life be filled with joy,
On Shavuot and every day!


Why I Celebrate Chanukah

iStock_000007213707LargeBy Jack Zimmerman,
Staff Evangelist for Jewish Voice

Ah, the aroma of potato pancakes frying in oil. This can mean only one thing—Chanukah has again arrived!

It’s that special time of year when we Jews celebrate the fact that when the Second Temple was desecrated around 164 B.C. by Antiochus and his troops, there was only enough oil to last for one day in the lampstand at the re-dedication ceremony. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days, and—voila!—there you go . . . instant Jewish holiday!

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York (the other Holy Land), I have memories of lighting another candle each night on the traditional Chanukah menorah. One day, however, the Zimmerman family took note that electricity had indeed been discovered, and that small screw-in bulbs rather than candles were much easier to use and didn’t drip like the candles did.

One year at Chanukah, we had a Chanukah bush. This is basically the Jewish version of a Christmas tree. On steroids.

Our response to the traditional Douglas fir at Christmas was a multi-colored metallic frilled bush, which could also be used to give you better reception on your television set, long after the holiday had ended and long before the advent of cable. (more…)

Happy Chanukah!

HappyChanukahFind Messianic Jewish resources on the Jewish holiday of Chanukah! Read more about the history of Chanukah, get a free Chanukah download, send an e-card, upload desktop wallpaper and more.


Jewish Voice Ministries International

Chanukah: Light Conquers the Darkness

Candles and menorahBeginning at sundown on December 8, the Jewish holiday of Chanukah lasts for eight days and  nights during the month of Kislev.

Chanukah, also known as The Festival of Lights, is a time when the Jewish People have for centuries commemorated the rededication of the Second Temple around 165 B.C.

King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Solomon’s Temple when the Babylonians attacked Jerusalem in 587 B.C. After their 70 years of captivity, the Jews returned to Jerusalem and built the Second Temple, which was dedicated in 517 B.C.

That Second Temple was desecrated by King Antiochus from Syria, who not only ordered a halt to all Jewish traditions, but also burned all the Torahs he could find and even went as far as sacrificing pigs in the Temple!

A few years later, a group of Jewish warriors, the Maccabees, rose up in revolt and cleansed the Temple of all of the recent horrors.

According to the Talmud, as the rededication of The Temple started, a special, blended oil was needed to put into the menorah in the Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night, every night. But they could only find one small jug of the oil that had remained uncontaminated because it was still sealed. The problem was that the jug only contained enough oil for the menorah to stay alight for one day.

But when it was lit, miraculously it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil!

You can imagine the celebration as once again the Temple was restored and put back into use. Ever since, the Jewish People have had an eight-day festival to commemorate that miracle.

Visit our Chanukah section on our website.

Jewish Voice Ministries International

Rosh Hashanah: Head of the Year

Rosh Hashanah

Learn more about the Fall Feasts, including Rosh Hashanah, the head of the year. Rosh Hashanah beings sundown September 16, 2012. This Jewish holiday marks the start of the Jewish New Year.

Jewish Voice Ministries International

Why Do Messianic Jews Celebrate the Passover Seder?

Why do Messianic Jews still celebrate the Passover Seder? And why do some Christians also observe this traditional Jewish holiday? Jonathan Bernis answers this question during our March 27, 2012 Jewish Voice webcast.

Jewish Voice Ministries International

Celebrate Purim!

If you’ve ever wondered how involved God really is in the circumstances of your daily life, you need only examine the Old Testament book of Esther. Although His name is never mentioned, God’s powerful influence is clear throughout this narrative. And it is the story behind the festive Jewish holiday, Purim, celebrated this year on March 8.

Brief Biblical History

An orphaned Jewish girl raised by her cousin Mordecai, Esther grew into a beautiful woman who found love and extraordinary favor with King Ahasuerus. He crowned her queen. Unaware that Queen Esther and her cousin were Jewish, the two gained the king’s great favor when Mordecai successfully revealed a plot to assassinate him. Unfortunately, the king’s love for Esther and (by association) Mordecai fostered seething jealousy and hatred in one of the king’s advisors, a man named Haman. (more…)