Sunday, December 28, 2014 Tevet 6, 5775
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A somber darkness envelops the sanctuary; prayers are read in muted candlelight, and the Torah scrolls are draped in black. At the 31/2-hour service on erev Tisha B'Av at Congregation Mikveh Israel in Center City, the normal prayer melodies are "replaced by the monotonous and heart-wrenching cadence" that evokes a sense of mourning, explained Rabbi Albert Gabbai. The holiday, a...
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Apparently, not all Jewish festivals have been created equal. Passover has the seder -- the most widely observed Jewish ritual -- the eating of matzah and a stirring narrative of a people's deliverance from slavery. Sukkot, which has undergone something of a revival among non-Orthodox Jews in recent years, has the building of the sukkah booth at home, and the...
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Rabbi Shmuel Jablon, JE Feature
In the Talmud, the festival of Shavuot is normally referred to as "Atzeret," which, roughly translated, means a "day of assembly." However, the word implies even more, since atzeret signifies a closing day of assembly. For example, after the festival of Sukkot comes Shemini Atzeret, the "Eighth Day of Assembly." Though it is, in the words of the sages, "a...
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Shavuot calls for all the dairy dishes you can think of
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Louise Fiszer, JE Feature
Shavuot is one of those holidays that is known by many names and has something for everyone. It is called Pentecost and the Feast of Weeks because it falls on the 50th day after the second night of Passover. It is also called Hag Ha-bikurim , the "Feast of the First Fruits." Insomniacs can stay up all night embracing the...
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Mark Mietkiewicz, JE Feature
How can one day remind us of Judaism's links to mysticism, be a time to mourn and a time to dance, and also be an Israeli pilgrimage that is reminiscent at times of Woodstock? Lag B'Omer is all of those things. The seven-week period between Passover and Shavuot is a time of semi-mourning, but on the 33rd day, Lag B'Omer...
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