Hike Griffith Park and relax in Amir’s Garden (amirsgarden.org) with the young professionals of Valley Ruach. A barbecue and picnic with kosher and veggie hot dogs and salads follows. Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a hat. The easy hike lasts between 90 minutes and two hours. Sun. 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. $4 (members), $6 (general). Meets at: Mineral Wells Picnic Area, Griffith Park Drive (near Harding Golf Course), Los Angeles. (818) 835-2139. valleyruach.org.
VideoJew Jay Firestone has been growing the traditional beard during the post-Passover Omer period. Until now
When I was in my early 30s I joined a havurah, a group of professionals seeking a deeper Jewish involvement. And during this time of year, just after Passover, we didn't know what to do with the counting of the Omer. How could we make it relevant and purposeful?
It used to be that when I wanted to throw a party, attend a rock concert, go for a swim or even take a haircut, I stopped myself and thought: Wait. Can I do this? What month is it? Am I allowed to celebrate? Or is it a Jewish mourning period?
"Ima, how old am I today?"
My oldest son's sixth birthday is coming soon. Recently, he has developed a near obsession with calculating exactly how old he is on a daily basis, practically down to the hour. Of course he is hardly unique. From our earliest years, we humans feel the compulsion to mark the passing of time, to define who we are by counting our years and months and days.