Hasbara For The Left

Close study of the history of anti-Semitism shows that it is first and foremost an expression of political and cultural opposition to Jewish ideals. The earliest known anti-Semitic writings emanated from the ruling class of the Hellenistic empires of the Middle East, specifically the Ptolemaic empire based in Egypt and the Seleucid empire based in Syria. From that time to the present, anti-Semitism in its most virulent manifestations has been consistently associated with one empire or would-be empire after another.
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In Search of Shvuot

There are four distinct references to Shvuot in the Torah, in the books of Deuteronomy, Numbers, Leviticus and Exodus, and it is called by three different names: the “Feast of Weeks”, the “Day of the First Fruits” and the “Festival of the Harvest”. According to the Torah, it is supposed to be celebrated on the day following seven times seven weeks after “the sickle is first put to the standing grain” (Deuteronomy), or alternately, after the first Sabbath following the start of Pesach (Leviticus). The rabbis eventually decided to interpret these passages as meaning that it should be celebrated 50 days after the second day of Pesach. At present this means that Shvuot is always celebrated on the 6th of Sivan, which always comes 50 days after the second day of Pesach, the 16th of Nisan. However, that is because the Jewish calendar is now calculated long in advance according to a fixed system and the two months preceding Sivan, Nisan and Iyar, are always 30 and 29 days in length respectively. In earlier times, when the start of the lunar month was decided by actual observation, Shvuot could also have come out a day or two after or before the 6th of Sivan.
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