Simultaneous Joy and Pain: The Wisdom of the Counting of the Omer
This year at our Passover seder, I experienced something deeply powerful which I had not felt in the context of Passover before.
Galilee Diary: New Grain
Driving across the Jezreel Valley these days, you can't miss the biblical echoes of the landscape. On Pesach we are to eat only cereal products made from the last year's harvest, baked with no leavening – and at the same time we are to clean out completely any remnants of any grain products from the old supply.
Lag BaOmer: Little Sleep, Lots of Smoke
Lag BaOmer was completely off our radar when we lived in the United States. We never had any real exposure to it until we made Aliyah, and now its approach is easily recognizable by kids walking down the street, schlepping huge pieces of wood, old furniture, sticks, and anything else that burns.
Lag BaOmer is a break, a time out, a moment to recall an ancient plague that may or may not have occurred, and perhaps a moment for reflection.
Living Lag BaOmer
The Hebrew letter equivalent of 33 is pronounced Lag (lamed gimel), giving rise to the name Lag BaOmer for this particular day. There is no one particular reason that this day stands out from the other 48 days counted between Pesach and Shavuot, yet many fascinating traditions surround the special nature of this day.
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.
Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and Orange Slices
The use of sherry vinegar, cumin, and oranges speaks volumes about the Iberian influence on the cooking of South America.
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.