Basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire is diving into the Hebrew scriptures. On the holiday of Shavuot, he posted an image of a Bible, open to the passage of Leviticus pertaining to the holiday.
Stoudemire tagged his photo #Yahosaphat, which is the Hebrew name that Stoudemire has taken on. It is unclear what edition of the Hebrew Bible Stoudemire is studying, but a visible footnote uses the Ashkenazi spelling of Shavuot, rendering the name of the holiday as Shavuos.
Shavuot began on the evening of May 30 and will end on the evening of June 1. The Christian holiday of Pentecost, historically linked to the Jewish festival, falls on June 4, this coming Sunday. Shavuot marks 50 days from Passover; Pentecost marks 50 days from Easter.
On Instagram, one commenter wanted to know which day Stoudemire would be celebrating, writing: “according to the Hebrew should we celebrate today or should we celebrate this holiday on Sunday?”
Stoudemire wrote back: “Sunday.”
Stoudemire moved to Israel after signing a two-year deal with an Israeli team. Stoudemire is not Jewish, but calls himself a Hebrew Israelite and was baptized in a Jesus-worshipping Chicago congregation called Israel of God.