My husband introduced me to techina (tahini), a staple found in most Israeli kitchens, as soon as we made aliyah in 1992.
Judaism is filled with ritualized counting. From the seven ordered days of creation, to the repetition of forty throughout the Tanach (Hebrew Bible), to God's exhortation to Abraham to "count the stars, if you can count them…" Currently, we are in the midst of counting the Omer, the days from Passover to Shavuot.
What makes this holiday a favorite among secular Israelis, while it is almost forgotten by Jewish kids in the Diaspora?
One of my most precious possessions is a copy of the Talmudic tractate Kiddushin printed in Munich in 1946 on presses once used for Nazi propaganda.
Jewish tradition gives structure to many aspects of mourning as a way to create order at a time when mourners may feel unmoored.