Shavuot celebration in Israel on a Kibbutz

Having written in The Link magazine about meeting Angel on the way to Bethlehem, I was reminded of another event during our time in Israel in 1989.

Rachel mentioned Shavuot in context with the coming of the Holy Spirit during last Sunday’s service which brought to mind this experience Michael and I had.

We were driving around Israel, having been booked into various Kibbutzim which had opened up guest accommodation. These kibbutzim also continued with trades and agriculture, horticulture, vineyards. We arrived at one, went to the reception, were allocated our room and were told that they were going to celebrate Shavuot a short while later that afternoon. So, a little before the appointed time we wandered over to the field where ‘things’ were to take place. As we went in we were offered bread to be torn off from the warm loaf. Straw bales were placed in a semi-circle in this meadow and as we were fairly early we had a choice of seat. People came in, many walking past us. We noticed arms with numbers ‘tattooed’ on them. We then watched this lovely display – children dancing, tractors and diggers ‘dancing’(?!) and then a finally of a digger entering the area and doves being released from it.

This was an amazing experience of sharing a Harvest Festival and thanks to God for the crops that had been safely gathered in. I expect many of those there were grateful to God that they had managed then to spend their lives in this lovely, peaceful spot. It was for me a bitter-sweet time.