With Baskets on Our Shoulders sung by the Zamir Chorale of Boston

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 Fruits".

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.

With Baskets on our Shoulders describes the procession to Jerusalem.
Words: Levin-Kipnis / Music: Yedidyah Admon
Arranged and conducted by: Joshua Jacobson / Sung by the Zamir Chorale of Boston


audio iconWith baskets on our shoulders, with garland wreaths on our heads,
We come from all over the land bringing our first fruits.

From Judea, From Samrea, from the Valley of Jezre'el, from the Galilee
We bring our produce - clear the way! Strike the drum and play the flute!    
(Hebrew verse)

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author 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.
related Meanings behind the Shavuot festival
First fruits: An introduction



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