JD: The Jewish holy day Shavuot this is the Feast of Pentecost.
WM: It’s one of the three what we call Pilgrimage festivals. Three times a year according to the Bible Jews when the Temple was existing had to go to Jerusalem at least three times a year. We’re talking about the holiday of Passover that’s followed exactly 50 days later by the Shavuot the Pentecost holiday. Then after the summer is over and after the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur the high holy days and the New Year and the day of atonement we have the Sukkot festival and then again that is the third festival of course as you mentioned. Two in the spring basically and then one in the fall.
JD: Are there other reasons for the Jewish people having to go up to Jerusalem in other words on these three pilgrim feasts? What was the main reason for bringing them to the Temple?
WM: According to the Torah a Jew is obliged to see God and be seen by God. That’s the Hebrew translation of the commandment to be seen and to see. And the rabbis interpret that as coming to the Temple priesting’s so that you know where God resides in terms of the Temple and what we call His holy presences. Number one it’s a unifying factor. And secondly it is the fact that it creates a community. You came because you had a religious obligation because you honored and respected and you felt that God’s word was to be obeyed and so you came three times a year.