My husband introduced me to techina (tahini), a staple found in most Israeli kitchens, as soon as we made aliyah in 1992.
Although my family started out with the smallest guest list in years last Passover, we ended up with the most well-attended seder we have ever hosted. Thanks to technology, tradition, and trust, we had more people at our seder table than ever before.
I had always thought of Jewish cemeteries as solemn places – but that was before going to a hilloula (festivity) 30 years ago in the Moroccan town of Ouazzane on Lag BaOmer, the Jewish holiday that falls on the 33rd day between Pesach and Shavuot.
In Parashat Emor, the verses in Leviticus 23:1-44 name and describe the sacred times of the Jewish calendar: Shabbat, Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and the Pilgrimage Festivals of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot. Time becomes a holy thing, and the "normalcy" of time — of one day being no different than any other — is forever differentiated by the weekly Sabbath and by these special festive days.