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Title: The Unknown Mystical History of the Festival of Shavu'ot
Author(s): ELIOR, Rachel
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 26    Date: 2016   
Pages: 157-196
DOI: 10.2143/SIS.26.0.3180807

Abstract :
The extra-ordinary mystical history of the festival of Shavu’ot or Shevu’ot – the fourth of the seven ‘appointed times of the Lord’ detailed in the Pentateuch, associated with the Sinai Revelation (Ex 19-20), or Sinai covenant, and one of the three biblical pilgrimage festivals, is the subject of this article. The disparity between its centrality in the Bible and the fact that the holiday is not mentioned by any of its biblical names in the early rabbinic tradition recorded in the Mishnah, is discussed in light of the central place of this festival in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the Book of Jubilees. The present article aims to decipher the reasons for this historical development, in the context of the dispute between priestly circles (Zadokites = Sadducees) and early rabbinic circles (Pharisees) and traces the unknown mystical history of the forgotten holiday in the later Jewish mystical tradition known as Kabbalah.

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