This past month, we celebrated three major Israeli holidays: Israel's 66th Independence Day, Lag Ba'Omer and Shavu'ot.
Lag Ba'Omer is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the thirty-third day of the counting of the Omer (six weeks from Passover to Shavu'ot.) For most of us secular Israeli Jews, Lag BaOmer is all about lighting bonfires, roasting marshmallow, and having fun until the crack of dawn. But for many religious Jews, there is much more to this holiday, which marks the passing of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.
Shavuot is celebrated on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, and it marks the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer, seven weekd from the second day of Passover. The popular customs of this holiday include eating dairy food, throwing "water fights," and children preparing "tene bikkurim" - a basket with Bikkurim (first fruits) filled with the Seven Species for which the Land of Israel is praised: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates. This last custom goes all the way back to antient Israel, where Jewish farmers would tie a reed around the first ripening fruits from each of these species in their fields. At the time of harvest, the fruits identified by the reed would be cut and placed in baskets woven of gold and silver. The baskets would then be loaded on oxen whose horns were gilded and laced with garlands of flowers, and who were led in a grand procession to the Temple in Jerusalem.
Thanks to a few photographer friends of mine, I bring you a glance at the celebrations:
Israel's 66th Independence Day
Taken by Noga Gur-Arieh:
Taken by Talia Garber:
Taken by Asaf Ram:
Taken by Rotem Guy- Eitan:
Taken by Yarin Klein:
Taken by Yoav Karmon:
Taken by Ofir Golan:
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