Auschwitz on Shavuot
"Three-and-a-half weeks later on Friday, April 21, just after 10 p.m., God brought Auschwitz to mind for a 50th time, and I was led to May 26, 2023 as the date to visit it – precisely five weeks away. As it turned out, May 26 was Shavuot in the Jewish calendar – the 50th day since the Feast of First Fruits seven weeks earlier! So there was the obvious connection – the 50th inspired visit occurring on the 50th day since the Feast of First Fruits. In Judaism, Shavuot always falls on the 6th of Sivan, exactly 7 weeks since the 16th of Nisan when the 50-day counting of the Omer begins. In Christianity, Pentecost (the Christian name for Shavuot), always falls exactly 7 weeks since the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday, on the 50th day. It is just a difference of biblical interpretation of the same verse as to when the counting begins. Christians believe that the count begins on Easter Sunday, which is typically the first Sunday after Passover.
Interestingly, the date of this 50th inspired visit to Auschwitz falls exactly 7 weeks (or on the 50th day) since Good Friday, marking the crucifixion of Christ. In 2023, the Jewish counting of the Omer started two days before Christians started theirs on Easter Sunday, hence the discrepancy.
In Christianity, Pentecost marks the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples at Jerusalem, on the 50th day following Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2:1). In Judaism, Shavuot commemorates the giving of the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. So here you have two different events taking place. One; the giving of the law, and two, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Both were divine revelations from God, marking the beginning of two different eras. One, Israel under the law, and two, the birth of the church age. It is said that Pentecost marks the fulfilment of the Feast of Weeks:
“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Acts 2:16–21 (original reference: Joel 2:28–32)
This new visit to Auschwitz was inspired exactly 12 weeks to the day since the last one in the Hebrew calendar (6 Shevat – 1 Iyyar, 5783). In the Gregorian calendar it is 11 weeks and 6 days, but because this 50th visit to Auschwitz was inspired after nightfall on Friday, it was the start of the new Jewish day from Sabbath to Sabbath (Saturday, January 28 – Friday, April 21, 2023).
Interestingly, I was due to visit Auschwitz on April 22 the following day (1st of Iyyar), which was due to be the first destination on my trip. It fell exactly 700 days since the 70th day of the Jewish religious year in 2021 (May 22, 2021). Because this 50th inspired visit to Auschwitz was also inspired on the 1st of Iyyar, it too fell exactly 700 days since the 70th day of the Jewish religious year! (11 Sivan, 5781 – 1 Iyyar, 5783)."