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Holidays and Traditions
Judaism

Do Jews celebrate Pentecost?

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February 13, 2012 12:57AM

A:

Yes. The Jewish Pentecost, also known as Shavuot, has striking similarities to the Christian Pentecost, but commemorates an earlier event, the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. It takes place fifty days after Passover, just as the Christian Pentecost takes place fifty days after Easter. Numbers 11:25 tells us that on that occasion, the spirit of God came down on the seventy elders and they began to prophesy in ecstasy, just as Acts chapter 2 tells of the Holy Spirit coming down on those in the upper room and they spoke in tongues as the spirit gave them the utterance. There are enough parallels to suggest the Christian Pentecost story was inspired by the Jewish one.