Shavuot In Israel, Belatedly


Most of the Jewish community celebrated Shavuot, the holiday that marks the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, in mid-June.

Some residents of Israel, including the Black Hebrews of Dimona, celebrated Shavuot a few weeks later.

The group, like the Karaites and Samaritans, who also recognize only the Torah but not the Oral Law as a source for their traditions, count Shavuot as occurring on the Sunday seven weeks after the Sunday of Passover.

The Black Hebrews – officially the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, with roots in the United States – celebrate Shavuot with song and dance and traditional clothes.

The group, though not recognized as Jews by Israel, came to the Jewish state in the late 1960s and received permanent resident status in 2003. Considering themselves descendants of the tribe of Judah, their African-influenced observance of Judaism includes eating kosher, circumcising newborn sons and wearing tzitzit.