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Lag BaOmer Turns Tragedy into Triumph
There are various explanations for why this particular date is special. One suggests that a plague that caused the death of thousands of Rabbi Akiva's students ended on Lag BaOmer.
Lag BaOmer: A Highlight of My Life in Israel
After Passover, we noticed that our 11-year-old son disappeared after school for hours at a time. When we asked him about what he was doing, he divulged few details.
Oops, I Forgot to Count the Omer!
What to do? Give up? Sigh and think, “I’m a bad Jew”? Never!
Why Count the Omer? Five Reasons (and Counting!)
Counting the Omer is a mitzvah through which we count the days from, Passover to Shavuot.
Galilee Diary: Galilee encounters
Three encounters from a day with 50 students from HUC, spending their first year in Israel before beginning their studies at the stateside campuses.
Falafel (Chickpea Patties)
Falafel is sold on street corners in every city and town in Israel.
Shishlik (Meat Kabobs)
The simple method of preparing meat on an open grill goes back to ancient biblical times.
Derived from central Europe, the popular kichlach (Yiddish for "cookies") are to be found in many of the packages prepared by parents for their children serving in the Israeli military.
In Jerusalem, Tu BiShvat Offers a Welcome Respite from Winter
Coming a month and a half before the spring equinox and two months before Passover, Tu BiShvat provides a glimmer of springtime at a time when winter can often be at its cruelest.
Tu BiShvat: Customs and Rituals
The Jewish mystics of the 17th century, the Kabbalists, created a special ritual—modeled after the Passover seder—to celebrate God's presence in nature. Today in modern Israel, Tu BiShvat has become a national holiday, a tree planting festivaTu BiShvat is not mentioned in the Torah. Scholars believe the holiday was originally an agricultural festival, corresponding to the beginning of spring in Israel. But a critical historical event helped Tu BiShvat evolve from a simple celebration of spring to a commemoration of our connection to the land of Israel. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. and the exile that followed, many of the exiled Jews felt a need to bind themselves symbolically to their former homeland. Tu BiShvat served in part to fill that spiritual need. Jews used this time each year to eat a variety of fruits and nuts that could be obtained from Israel. The practice, a sort of physical association with the land, continued for many centuries.l for both Israelis and Jews throughout the world