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“The Day after the Sabbath” (Lev 23:15): Traces and Origin of an Inter-Sectarian Polemic

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The date of the Festival of Weeks (Shavu'ot) has been the focus of an ancient controversy between the sectarian halakhah and Pharisaic halakhah. However, from an analysis of the Book of Jubilees and Judean desert documents on the one hand, and from Tannaitic Midrashim on the other hand, it is clear that there was a third position suggested, and rejected, by both sides. This third approach clarifies that the background of the controversy was the difference in the description of the festival found in Leviticus in contrast to its portrayal in Deuteronomy.

Affiliations: 1: The Talmud Department, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 52900, Israel;, Email:


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