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Celebrating Shavuot, partying with The Rolling Stones and more…This week from Israel

by Noga Gur-Arieh

June 9, 2014 | 8:20 am

Getting satisfaction at The Rollin Stones concert in Tel Aviv/ Photo taken by Lital Shemesh.

Celebrating Shavuot at the Kibbutz

Last week, we celebrated the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. It 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.

An informal custom of this holiday is to visit our relatives at the Kibbutz, because honestly, it is where the best Shavu’ot celebrations are held!

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The Rolling Stones rocked Tel-Aviv!

Even Roger Waters couldn’t get them to cancel their concert in Israel, and on Wednesday night, more than 50,000 fans witnessed the living legends last week, when they rocked the stage with classic hits and slick moves. The Stones arrived in Israel on Monday night and visited the Western Wall and the ancient ruins of Caesarea.

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Celebrated actress Hanna Maron dies at 90

Hanna Maron, one of Israel's most prominent actors, died at the age of 90. She passed away at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center with her family by her side. Over the years, she portrayed many roles in television, film and theater. Maron was born in Berlin on November 23 1923, and began her acting career at the early age of four. Her most famous appearance during those years was in the classic film M, by German director Fritz Lang.

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Making wheelchairs more accessible

For 65 million people around the world, moving without a wheelchair is impossible. Of those 65 million who require wheelchairs for mobility, some 20 million people, including five million children, do not have access to them. Israeli NGO ‘Wheelchairs of Hope’ is aspiring to dramatically change this by designing the world’s first affordable wheelchairs built especially for children. With with the UN, the WHO and two Nobel Prize winners as backers, it might just be able to get there.

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An early detection of breast cancer

After eight years of painstaking research, Israeli life-sciences company Eventus Diagnostics (EventusDx) has produced a blood test for the early detection of breast cancer. The Octava Pink test is now available in Israel and Italy, and is undergoing clinical trials to receive US Food and Drug Administration approval.

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An expensive stay

Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are among the 20 priciest cities in the world for hotel rooms, according to an index compiled by the Bloomberg financial and media company together with the International Monetary Fund and the Expedia travel website. Tel Aviv came in 14th with an average hotel cost of $223, and Jerusalem ranked 19th at $203. The last city on the list, in the 106th place, is Hanoi with an average hotel cost of $62 – about 25% of the price in Tel Aviv.

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Chicago vs Teva

The city of Chicago sued five drug companies, including the Israeli Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. for allegedly pushing consumer use of opioid painkillers, creating addicts and driving up its costs. Accusing the companies of civil conspiracy, fraud and violations of city laws, Chicago is seeking unspecified money damages including coverage of the costs associated with its lawsuit.

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Will.i.am in Israel

The Black Eyed Peas visited Israel twice so far, giving unforgettable performances. Now, 7 years after their latest concert, co-founder Will.i.am arrived in Israel, but this time he didn’t perform. The musician, whose full name is William Adams, was here to introduce his latest device, a smartwatch, to a group of Israeli start-ups and angel investors.

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Google’s dream already used by the IDF

While Google is still experimenting with driverless technology for use by civilians, the IDF has been using unmanned vehicles for at least five years to protect Israelis. The Israeli army announced this week a program to upgrade its driverless fleet, to include vehicles that can scout areas before soldiers move in and warn of possible dangers before they arrive, and vehicles that will safely and autonomously transport weapons and equipment to soldiers already in the field.

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NIS 20 million for marine research projects

The Energy, Water and National Infrastructures Ministry will be buying the NIS 20 million Bat Galim ship from the Defense Ministry in order to conduct marine research projects. The ship, which will be used by numerous governmental agencies, research institutions and the IDF, will gather information about changes in the sea and about the natural gas exploration and production taking place in the Mediterranean. In addition, it will promote multidisciplinary research, monitor and map Israel’s exclusive economic zone, track the impact of marine infrastructure on the environment and evaluate potential ecological damage.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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