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Lag BaOmer Is a Time to Connect with Our Ancestors
May 26th will mark the Jewish festival of Lag BaOmer which – like, Shavuot and Hanukkah – is not mentioned in the Torah.
A Playlist for the Omer: The Journey from Liberation to Revelation
We find ourselves in the midst of the Omer, when we count off the days, and weeks, in between Passover and Shavuot. Last week, we celebrated the 33rd day of the Omer: Lag BaOmer. The journey begins with our liberation from Egypt. It concludes with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
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.
Every Tu BiShvat Is a Second Chance
Tu BiShvat, the precursor to Earth Day, should make us alert to our air, water, animals, and foliage – and all that we’re doing to destroy them.
Tu BiShvat: How Israel Has Planted New Seeds in the Jewish Soul
The way we celebrate Tu BiShvat has changed over the years – a case-in-point of how Jewish life and observance has been transformed in our day, due in no small part thanks to the successes of the State of Israel.
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
Tu BiShvat: History
Although the celebration of Tu BiShvat has a long and varied history, the theme most commonly ascribed to the holiday today is the environment.