Shavuot, also called Hag ha-Kazir,
the "Feast of Harvest," marked the end of the barley and beginning
of the wheat harvest in the Land of Israel. Many would also bring thanksgiving
offerings of the first fruits that had ripened on their trees, giving
the festival yet another name, Yom ha-Bikkurim, "Day of the First
The Mishnah (Bikkurim) describes a colorful procession
in which farmers from small villages would gather in a large town to
go together to Jerusalem. "Arise, let us go up to Zion, to the House
of our God," the leader would announce as they set out on their pilgrimage.
When they neared Jerusalem, flutists would greet them with music, and
when they reached the Temple court, the priests would welcome them with
hymns and psalms.
Levin Kipnis (1894-1990) was a
pioneer of children's literature in Hebrew; legions of Israeli children
(pre- and post-1948) were raised on his numerous books and stories. He wrote
for all the important Hebrew childrens' magazines and his stories were translated
widely in their Yiddish counterparts.