Jewish Journal

Tag: Shavuot

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  • The Hottest Summer in Baghdad: 75th anniversary of the Farhud

    2 weeks ago

    The festival of Shavuot, which this year took place June 12-13, commemorates a time when Jews received the Torah at Mount Sinai. It also marks the beginning of a new agricultural season, Chag Hakatsir (The Harvest Holiday). It comes seven weeks after Passover.

    Shavuot in Baghdad...

  • A Shavuot all-nighter at Temple Beth Am

    By Ryan Torok

    2 weeks ago

    Charlie Carnow showed up at Temple Beth Am on June 11 with big plans. A paper in his pocket listed all the synagogues he wanted to visit on Shavuot: Beth Am, B’nai David-Judea and LINK Kollel & Shul.

    But, midway through the evening, he gave up on his temple-hopping ambitions and...

  • IKAR’s progressive Shavuot learning experience

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    2 weeks ago

    IKAR, a politically liberal Jewish community with a focus on social justice, went progressive in another sense during a June 11 Shavuot Torah study program. That’s when about 130 participants started at one member’s home and, over the course of the night, walked to the backyards of...

  • Forced to pick between observance and graduation, Jewish Bruins choose both

    By Eitan Arom

    2 weeks ago

    Aaron Ebriani was 11 when his father, Eli, died, and the event inspired him to honor his memory by fulfilling as many mitzvot as possible — and by helping others do the same.

    So when he realized a few months ago that all of UCLA’s departmental graduations fell on Shabbat or the...

  • Shavuot and Pride Week: A double holiday turns to grief

    2 weeks ago

    Jewish mysticism holds that every year at around midnight on Shavuot, the skies open up, as they did in the Torah story over Mount Sinai, for prayers to ascend to God.

    Not long after the skies were supposed to have opened this year, 49 people were murdered by a terrorist in a gay...

  • After Orlando: Heartbroken, but with resolve

    2 weeks ago

    My heart is broken. I woke up Shavuot morning inspired by a night of study with my Reform colleagues and our communities. I was ready to receive the Torah at our morning service as we stood at Sinai again and then celebrate the continuation of gay pride weekend the same day. 

  • The end of the farm

    By Rob Eshman

    3 weeks ago

    Four years ago, for the holiday of Shavuot, I wrote about my two pygmy goats. How I’d rescued one from a butcher shop, another from an abusive home, and brought them to live, along with our three chickens and two dogs, in the backyard of our Venice home. 

    This is the end of that...

  • The Torah of female power

    By Danielle Berrin

    3 weeks ago

    Men had their chance. 

    I’m even willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say maybe they didn’t rule the world as badly as it seems they did. Because the truth is, we do not yet know what an equal world looks like, let alone one in which the world’s women might hold a...

  • A holiday unmarked by date, unconfined by space

    3 weeks ago

    The literal translation of Shavuot is the “Festival of Weeks” because of the holiday’s connection with Passover. In rabbinic Hebrew, this festival is called Atzeret because it is similar to Shemini Atzeret, which follows the festival of Sukkot. However, unlike Shemini Atzeret,...

  • Shavuot, revisited: Five thoughts

    3 weeks ago

    This week, Jewish communities around the world celebrate Shavuot. Compared with Sukkot and Passover, the two other pilgrimage holidays, Shavuot is not nearly as well known, let alone observed. While rabbinic in its origin, the one-day festival commemorates the receiving of the...

  • Taglit for two: Honeymoon Israel growing as ‘Birthright for couples’

    By Eitan Arom

    3 weeks ago

    Standing in the Western Wall plaza at the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, Alex and Bianca Ross discussed the religious and spiritual roller coaster that brought them there.

    “I never asked her to become a Jew for me [in order] to marry me,” said Alex, a tall, gregarious redhead...

  • Jew-by-choice Mandie Davis also chooses homeless children

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    3 weeks ago

    Mary “Mandie” Davis is passionate about a number of things: her husband, Ari Kadin, helping homeless children feel special and loved, and her Jewish identity.

    It’s estimated that nationwide, 2.5 million children are homeless. But thanks to considerable effort from Davis and Kadin...

  • I lost my mom but found a family

    3 weeks ago

    In 2003, I was 20 and living on the South Side of Chicago, in a dirty 10,000-square-foot warehouse with six roommates and four cats. There was a mysterious fungus, shaped like a human ear, growing in the corner of my room, and I did nothing about it. A typical day consisted of...

  • The everyday deity

    3 weeks ago

    I was not a Jew; now I am. 

    I did not believe in God; now I do.

    In 2009, I was an atheist. By 2013, I was a theist and a Jew. Today, my beliefs live among the other things that, while miraculous, are routine. When I need to breathe, there is air. When it’s time to walk or lie...

  • The defense of (converting for) marriage act

    By Kylie Ora Lobell

    3 weeks ago

    Last July, I converted to Judaism after five years of studying and undergoing major lifestyle changes: I moved to a Jewish neighborhood, started keeping kosher, took off for Shabbat and the holidays, joined an Orthodox synagogue and learned with a chavrusa

    Today, my observance...

  • The rabbi and the yogi

    3 weeks ago

    My husband, Jeremy, and I first met Rabbi Moshe Greenwald and his wife, Rivky, at a Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony in Pershing Square in 2010, when we were just dating. Two years later, when we talked about getting married, I decided to convert to Judaism. Jeremy was born Jewish...

  • The holiday of diaspora Jewry — a suggestion

    By Avraham Burg

    3 weeks ago

    Shavuot — the Feast of the Weeks — is a modest holiday. It is one of the three biblical pilgrimage festivals, though not as central and celebrated as the two others — Passover and Sukkot. Content-wise, it is a classic Jewish combination of agriculture and theology. It marks the...

  • On Shavuot, who (or what) will get the first fruits?

    3 weeks ago

    As we approach Shavuot, there’s a battle going on in our garden over who — or what — will get our first fruits.

    In ancient days in Israel, beginning at Shavuot — the holiday that marked the wheat harvest as well as the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai — people brought to the...

  • 5 insights derived from Shavuot to better acquaint you

    June 1, 2016 | 5:58 pm

    This week Jewish communities around the world celebrate Shavuot.  Compared to Sukkot and Passover, the two other pilgrimage holidays, Shavuot is not nearly as well known, let alone observed.  While rabbinic in its origin, the one-day festival commemorates the receiving of the Torah...

  • Shavuot: a holiday unmarked by date, without ritual, unconfined by space

    June 1, 2016 | 2:57 pm

    The literal translation of Shavuot is the Festival of Weeks" because of the holiday’s connection with Passover. In Rabbinic Hebrew, this festival is called Atzeret because it is similar to Shemini Atzeret, which follows the festival of Sukkoth. However, unlike Shemini Atzeret,...

  • From Egypt to Sinai in 49 Days

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    May 26, 2015 | 9:12 am

    In Jewish tradition, we count 49 days – seven weeks of seven days – between Pesach (Passover), when we remember what it was like for us to be slaves in Egypt, and Shavuot, when we celebrate receiving the wisdom of Torah at Mount Sinai.

    This year, as usual, I took a day off of...

  • On Shavuot, remembering the day I almost dropped the Torah

    May 22, 2015 | 10:48 am

    On Shavuot, we are reminded that the Torah is a tree of life to which we are to hold fast. But what happens when that hold slips from your grasp?

    It’s a question I found myself asking six weeks before Shavuot, late in the Torah service on the last day of Passover.


  • For Shavuot, try this easy strawberry rhubarb trifle

    May 22, 2015 | 9:31 am

    Forget fancy pastries, cakes or tarts: Trifles are the best dessert you can make for entertaining. They are delicious and look beautiful and impressive, but are actually one of the easiest desserts you can make.

    The first time I made a trifle was actually after a baking mistake....

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Shavuot with Rabbi Joshua Lief

    By Shmuel Rosner

    May 22, 2015 | 4:07 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Joshua Lief, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Chesed in Jacksonville, Florida. Rabbi Lief attended Princeton University, where he swam on the varsity squad, competed on the debate team, and graduated with a degree in History. After Princeton, Rabbi...

  • Cartoon: Shavuot Tablets

    By Steve Greenberg

    May 21, 2015 | 4:07 pm

  • She followed her heart to her true faith

    By Kylie Ora Lobell

    May 21, 2015 | 1:24 pm

    I’m sitting in a plush rocking chair underneath a large painting of Jesus in my grandma’s living room. My grandma is across from me, smiling, her hands linked. Danny Lobell, my fiancé, is next to me.

    “So, what’s your background?” she asks Danny.

    “I’m Scottish and Jewish,” he...

  • Blintzes and beyond for Shavuot

    By Judy Zeidler

    May 21, 2015 | 1:06 pm

    The holiday of Shavuot marks the receiving of the Ten Commandments by Moses, but it’s also a kind of Jewish Thanksgiving, when farm bounty and grains — “first fruits” — were brought to the temple. These often included wheat, barley, grapes, figs and dates.

    In modern times,...

  • On Shavuot, reopening the book

    May 21, 2015 | 12:28 pm

    On Shavuot, which this year falls on May 23, we celebrate the day that we received the Torah on Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. Think about that. Every year, we celebrate receiving the exact same book, or, more precisely, re-receiving the exact same Torah. But if I possess...

  • Witnesses to Iraq’s Farhud

    By Jane Ulman

    May 20, 2015 | 2:42 pm

    Over the first two days of June 1941, countless numbers of Jewish women in Baghdad were raped, more than 2,000 Jews were injured — many of them mutilated — and 900 homes, as well as 586 Jewish-owned businesses, were looted. All told, according to Iraqi-born historian Elie Kedourie,...

  • Is Shavuot dead?

    By Rob Eshman

    May 20, 2015 | 10:40 am

    If you’re like most Jews, chances are you looked at the title of this piece and asked yourself one of two questions: either “Who cares?” or “Shavu-what?”

    Shavuot is the Jewish holiday that begins at sundown on May 23. Religiously speaking, it is one of the three major festival...

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