Carrying the Firstfruit Baskets
Pilgrims carried firstfruit baskets upon their heads.
Twenty Six Animal Offerings
Twenty six animals were offered upon the Temple altar on the festival of Shavuot. These included doves, lambs, and oxen.
Bringing the Children
Fathers would bring their children with them to the Holy Temple, thus fulfilling the biblical commandment: "Let each of your males be seen... " (Deut. 16:16)
The Favorite Fruits
Special seven tiered baskets were employed to display the firstfruits. The fruits were arranged in ascending order of importance: the bottom basket contained barley. This was followed by wheat, olives, dates, pomegranates,and figs. A dove was set on the top.
In the Temple Courtyard
Bringing their firstfruits into the Temple courtyard, the pilgrims would express their thanks to G-d - the source of all blessing.
"An Aramean destroyed my father..." (Deut, 26:5) Thus declared the pilgrim, standing before the priest, while holding his basket of firstfruits upon his shoulder.
Placing the Basket by the Altar
The pilgrim would then place his basket by the altar, as it is written: "And you shall place it before HaShem, your G-d." (Deut. 26:11)
Waving the Basket
The kohen would then take the basket and wave it as prescribed.
Prostration before HaShem
Before leaving the Temple Courtyard, the pilgrim would prostrate himself before G-d.
Making the Two Shavuot Loaves
Two loaves of leavened bread were offered on Shavuot, as a communal offering. The unground wheat was first rubbed by the kohanim...
Beating the Grain
The grain was then beaten by hand.