Lord our God, we stood before You just a week ago to receive the Ten Statements of Your Torah. We stood, as though with our ancestors, and listened to the Torah reader chant descriptions of the smoking mountain, the thunderous rumbling, and the long-awaited voice of God.
A previously unknown Palestinian group took responsibility for two rockets that hit Mount Hermon, a popular Israeli tourist site in the Golan Heights.
Events throughout Los Angeles. Food festival, Shavuot activities, Allan Sherman and more.
Shavuot celebrates the receiving of the Ten Commandments and the arrival of the spring harvest. But, for food lovers, it is noted for the array of dairy foods that are served — delicious combinations of cheese, sour cream, milk and eggs. Also in abundance are “stuffed” foods, such as blintzes with cheese fillings.
Known as “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” the five-time Grammy-nominated Feinstein covers classics from musical theater as well as the songs of Frank Sinatra and other standards. $40-$85. 8 p.m. California State University, Northridge, Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. (818) 677-8800. valleyperformingartscenter.org.
With its tradition of dairy meals, Shavuot is one of my favorite holidays. Arriving later in the spring -- an ideal time to find delicious fruits, herbs and vegetables -- it's perfect for using fresh and seasonal ingredients.
I have a feeling that several years from now, as the movement to strengthen Jewish connection in America accelerates, the coolest night of the year will be Shavuot.
“You shall teach your children diligently” (Deuteronomy 6:7). Rabbi Akiba traveled from town to town in Israel, teaching the Torah, judging cases, settling disputes, offering wisdom and listening to the stories of his people.
My daughter, Dina, accepted a summer job here in Los Angeles last year. Before being hired, she explained that she was an observant Jew who would have to take off two days in early June to celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. The manager, respecting Dina’s religious commitment, said it would be no problem.
Craig Taubman vividly remembers when Bill Kaplan first showed him around the grounds of the Shalom Institute, neatly tucked into the vast Santa Monica Mountains of Malibu.
Most Jews around the world observe Shavuot in the relative comfort of their synagogues and homes. Not so for Wilderness Torah, a Berkeley-based nonprofit.
Unlike other Jewish holidays, the Torah does not specify a date for Shavuot; it is celebrated on the 50th day (seven weeks) after Passover. We moderns celebrate Shavuot on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan; in ancient times, when the first day of every month was declared only when the new moon was first seen, the holiday could have been celebrated on the fifth, sixth or seventh day of Sivan.
Are the Ten Commandments only to be heard but not seen? And when they are seen, how should they look?
Unlike other Jewish holidays, the Torah does not specify a date for Shavuot; it is celebrated on the 50th day (seven weeks) after Passover. We moderns celebrate Shavuot on the 6th day of the month of Sivan; in ancient times, when the first day of every month was declared only when the new moon was first seen, the holiday could have been celebrated on the 5th, 6th or 7th day of Sivan.
The most common question people ask when they visit our home is: “Why the goats?” We live in the city. A few houses west of us, four lanes of Lincoln
Days after the election that brings Hitler to power, a Jewish couple — an acclaimed physicist and his unfaithful wife — contemplate whether to seek an unknown future outside of Germany or stay put in Berlin. Written by playwright Iddo Netanyahu, brother of Israel’s prime minister, directed by Ami Dayan, and featuring award-winning actor Bruce Davison, this staged reading is the play’s West Coast premiere. Part of the California International Theatre Festival. The Museum of Tolerance hosts an additional performance on May 21. Sat. 8 p.m. Free (first come, first served). Founder’s Hall, 100 Civic Center Way, Calabasas. (818) 783-3576. citfestival.org.
It’s fashionable to look at Passover as a universal idea. This makes sense; after all, how much more universal can you get than the theme of human freedom? Also, it’s a lot easier these days to be outer-directed and feel outrage at injustice.
Jewish texts further the understanding of difficult social issues and current events, including the Arab spring, WikiLeaks, protests at soldiers’ funerals and more. Sponsored by Temple Beth Am, Temple Emanuel, Adat Shalom, Pico Egal, Ma’or and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. Tue. 7:15 p.m.
The valedictorian at a northern California high school is planning to deliver her graduation address via a pre-recorded audio message in order to observe Shavuot. Carolyn Fine worked out the arrangement with Vacaville High School officials, according to The Reporter, Vacaville’s local newspaper.
Ruth’s day is coming. Not the Ruth with all the home runs. The other Ruth, the biblical one who hit an eternal shot for Jews by Choice. We read her book and story on Shavuot. Her words of commitment spoken to her mother-in-law, Naomi, travel over time to us on the holiday: “Wherever you go I will go, and wherever you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God.”
Earlier this year, I got a call from an old friend, Rabbi Juan Mejia. Juan asked me if I’d be willing to accompany him and Rabbi Felipe Goodman to San Miguel de Allende for a couple of days in early February. Juan, Felipe and I have a lot in common: We laugh at the same jokes, we all speak Spanish, and we’re all rabbis. A little getaway to Mexico in the middle of winter? Sure, I could fit that into my schedule — no problem, I said.
During Shavuot, it’s a custom to serve dairy foods, such as cheese blintzes, cheese noodle kugels, cheesecake and even ice cream. But have you wondered where this tradition comes from?
Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” inspires director Nina Menkes’ 2010 Israeli art film, which follows a morose young Israeli Jew (Didi Fire) who murders a female pawnbroker. Shot in Yaffo, a predominantly Arab part of Tel Aviv, the film won the Anat Pirchi Award for Best Drama at the 2010 Jerusalem International Film Festival.
It all started with Signora Grazia, an elderly cheese maker in Panzano, Italy. While vacationing in this Tuscan village, just 30 minutes south of Florence, we walked by her farm early one morning and saw the sign that read “Pecorino and Fresh Ricotta for Sale.”
Ask a group of average Jews what they know about Shavuot, and you’re likely to hear something like: “Oh sure, that’s the holiday when we eat cheesecake.” From a biblical standpoint, Shavuot is one of the holiest days in Judaism, but as a holiday on the Jewish calendar it is one of the most misunderstood and overlooked.
Joan Nathan says she's always had a particular fascination with French Jews and their food. For Nathan, author of "Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France (Knopf, 2010), the love affair with French cuisine started as a teenager when she made her first trip to France in the 1950s. The prolific cookbook author says the simple pleasure of sampling a slightly melted bar of chocolate sandwiched into a crackly baguette transformed her life.
Passover is over and Shavuot is weeks away. It's a season when Jews traditionally take time for contemplation and reflection. This year, I've been reflecting on Catholicism. Rather on the complicated interfaith nexuses between Catholics and Jews. In large part, of course, this is because of the beatification May 1 of Pope John Paul II.
An Orthodox Jewish plaintiff in a medical malpractice trial will be allowed a retrial after he missed part of the trial for a religious holiday. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 24 that by not rescheduling the court date so that Alexander Neustadter could appear, his opponent went unchallenged, prejudicing the trial.
Recently my 3-year-old granddaughter played with a music box she had received from her parents at Chanukah.
“What is Chanukah?” I asked her.
Hundreds of young people gathered to become a part of Camp Obama for intensive three-day weekend retreats throughout the months of July and August of 2007. Several of the retreats were led by Marshall Ganz, a Harvard professor of sociology, and son of a rabbi and World War II Army chaplain).
" . . . It is wishful thinking by the writer that Obama's chance to be president has been torpedoed by his past association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. McCain and the writer want us to focus on this guilt by association nonissue, rather than on Obama's own actions and words and the terrible political and economic conditions our beloved country has fallen into under the Bush/Cheney regime . . ."
In a knowledge world ruled by books and pages and digitized memory, why do Jews hold onto the scroll? Could it be that rolled along together somewhere in our minds with the love of Torah is the love of scroll?
"My sense is that people gathering in synagogue for all or part of the night is expanding," said Rabbi Mark Diamond, executive vice president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California. "A lot of great learning takes place in the Los Angeles Jewish community on Shavuot."
What prompted Agnon, a master of original writing, to create an anthology of rabbinic texts relating to Shavuot? As an author with a deep connection to his religious roots, Agnon related to the experience of Shavuot, a celebration of the centrality of books in Judaism.
When I think of Torah, the first thing that comes to mind is a divine, rigorous system of laws that guides an ethical and holy way of life. The last thing I think about is whimsy and romance
What I did not expect was to get a phone call from one of the city's illustrious Orthodox rabbis defending the magical, mystical, community-building power of ... the cheesecake.
Often we give excuses of not being involved in Jewish life because we have strong and even valid criticisms against organized religion. We only see the negative in our Jewish institutions, forgetting that such an attitude produces Peloni Almonis, nothings and nobodies. We have no choice but to accept the challenge to become a generation of Boazs, whose creative thinking will guarantee the future of our people.
Shavuot begins exactly seven weeks after Passover and brings with it centuries of food traditions. Because some say milk and cheese symbolize the purity of the Torah, it is the festival when dairy foods are normally served. The holiday also celebrates the spring harvest, a time when a new crop of fresh vegetables and fruits begin to appear.
Since then I've been relegated to eating blintzes at delis, where they've been decent but far from sensational. However, with Shavuot approaching, a craving for Bertha's blintzes drove me to replicate the nirvana of that first experience.
But unlike Rosh Hashanah -- which has the irresistible attraction of a new year and a new beginning -- and other holidays that have their own attractions, Shavuot seems to miss that special sizzle that could engage mainstream Judaism.
"There's a challenge for Reform Jews around the observance of Tisha B'Av, and communities make all kinds of choices," said Rabbi Sue Ann Wasserman, the Union for Reform Judaism's director of worship, music and religious living.
Around the Pico-Robertson neighborhood -- and the city -- the standard lectures were being given on topics ranging from the Book of Ruth to Israel, but something off the beaten path was taking place on Robertson Boulevard in a lecture at Anshei Emet Synagogue. The subject was "Kabbalah and the Red String."
Shavuot commemorates the Jewish people's grandest moment of revelation -- on a mountain, but definitely not in solitude. Absolutely personal, but not in the least private.
At 81, frail of body but sharp-tongued and wise, Rabbi Schulweis has made it his mission to preach the gospel of conversion to the Jews. That is we, as individuals and as a people, must seek and embrace converts. Doing so will not only improve Jewish life but improve our own lives as Jews.
Jews often live in calendar dialectics. Annually, we oscillate between two Jewish New Years (Tishrei/Nissan) and two "Judgment Days" (Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur). the Dubner Maggid, Rabbi Yaakov Krantz, perhaps the greatest Jewish storyteller of all time, was once asked: Why do we celebrate both Simchat Torah and Shavuot? Why not condense them into one grand holiday?
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Do you like ice cream? Cheesecake? Blintzes?
Well, Shavuot is the holiday for you. That's when the dairy queen grants us our wish: to eat all the sweetest, milkiest foods we want.
Shavuot, which marks the receiving of the Ten Commandments by Moses, was often referred to as the Jewish Thanksgiving or the "Feast of the First Fruits," a time when farm bounty and grains were brought to the ancient Temple. The harvest often included wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.
In modern times, Shavuot inspires the preparation of many delicious and traditional recipes that usually feature a variety of vegetarian and dairy foods. Milk, eggs and cheeses of all kinds are used in abundance.