The Demise of First Fruits
I receive many requests for information about how and why we no longer celebrate the Feasts of the L-rd. In the Spring, I am asked about Resurrection Sunday and how it came to be celebrated as it is. It is an ugly thing and one that I try to avoid talking about, but "the truth shall set us free."
In the days of Constantine’s rule, he conquered the world and gave each nation an option: become Christian or be killed! But, to make it easy for them, he incorporated some of the conquered custom into his new revised sort of faith. He hated the Jews and was working hard to eliminate all remembrances of Judaism from Christianity.
When he conquered the Babylonians, who worshipped Ishtar, a fertility goddess, he offered them a way to incorporate their annual major celebration with their new faith. Since their focus was on new life, Constantine “merged” this with the celebration of the L-rd’s resurrection, the sign of new life. The Babylonian men offered bunny rabbits and chicks to the temple prostitutes as symbols of fertility. The day was marked with a huge orgy, the result of which, each year, would be three month old babies. So, the prostitutes would sacrifice these infants to their goddess and would die eggs in the blood. The men would “hunt” for the eggs and receive favor from the prostitutes based upon their find.
And so, the Feast of First Fruits, ordained by G-d to celebrate the resurrection of the Firstfruits of the resurrection was altered and named after this pagan goddess, incorporating most of the same practices and taught to our children as harmless fun.