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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

Candle Lighting in Nachlaot

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Families in the Nachlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem light their Chanukiot. After the lighting, the Razel family sang Hanuka songs.

Hanukkah Candle Lighting in Nachlaot

Hanukkah Candle Lighting in Nachlaot

Photo of the Day

Pres. & First Lady Rivlin Welcome Thousands to The Sukkah

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Thousands of people flocked to Jerusalem on Wednesday to participate in the annual Open Sukkah event at the President’s Residence — some 6,000 visitors managed to gain entry to the sukkah.

This year the event was held in partnership with the Blue & White Initiative of the Economy Ministry, and the Israel Manufacturers Association. It included interactive exhibitions of Israeli inventions and manufacturing, as well as traditional fruits and produce of Israel as is customary at Sukkot as a harvest festival.

Throughout the day, the President and First Lady went out to greet the many thousands of visitors, shaking hands and speaking with them about where they had come from across the country.

The President also spoke from the main stage at the Residence — which is quite large — and where musical performances were taking place throughout the day. He wished the visitors a “Happy Sukkot” and broadened the greeting to include “all the people of Israel around the world, and all the Israeli people here.”

Rivlin added that the president’s sukkah is the Sukkah of the whole people, and that he views the president’s residence as the “house of all the people” as well.

“This house ties together all the tribes of Israel. You have come here today as every year, and you can see the wonderful produce of Israel on display; the wonderful fruits and vegetables of our land,” he said.

“But the produce we eat is not the only produce of this land here today; you have seen the tremendous ability of the manufacturing industry in the State of Israel – an industry that is renowned around the world. All the world wants to buy ‘blue and white.’

“You have come here today, we are all one tribe under the Sukkah – which is a symbol of peace. The connection to Jerusalem needs no endorsement. Everyone knows this is a most important festival in our connection to Jerusalem our capital.”

Hana Levi Julian

Holiday News: Police Arrest Jew on Temple Mount

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

An 18-year-old Jewish man was arrested Wednesday morning on the Temple Mount on suspicion of bowing before the King of the Universe, Honenu reported. The young man was taken for police interrogation, and Honenu, a legal aid society, is pursuing his release. Rumor has it that the same man also broke the law by reciting the Shema Israel, a radical text introduced in 1248 BCE.

David Israel

True Holiday Thoughts

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

[In Hebrew]

Video of the Day

Jerusalem Reinforces Security as Thousands Converge on Sukkot Holiday

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Extra police security measures have been put in place for the festival of Sukkot in public areas, parks, and malls across Israel, following the Yom Kippur holiday. Police units are providing beefed up security at national parks, community centers, synagogues and other public areas.

According to the Israel Police Foreign Spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, special emphasis is being placed on Jerusalem as security is reinforced in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. During the Sukkot festival, police patrolling the Old City arrested 10 Arabs for throwing rocks from rooftops, which caused no injuries, according to Rosenfeld.

Thousands of people are visiting Jerusalem’s Western Wall during the week-long holiday to attend the annual priestly blessing recited at one of Judaism’s holiest sites. Last year on Sukkot, an estimated 50,000 people including ultra-Orthodox, religious, secular, traditional and non-Jewish tourists attended the traditional blessing ceremony at the Western Wall.

Following UNESCO’s resolution last week that denied any historic and religious connection of the Jewish people to the Western Wall and Temple Mount, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri called on Israelis to visit the Western Wall in masses this Wednesday on a Facebook post. “This year, we’ll come, in our masses, to Jerusalem to the Western Wall, to the Priestly Blessing. We’ll send a clear message – nobody will separate us from our holy places.”

“On Sukkot, we will go up to Jerusalem; say yes to the Western Wall, no to UNESCO’s decision!” wrote Deri.

President Reuven Rivlin also commented last week on the vote, stating that “there is no festival more connected to Jerusalem than Sukkot.”

“The festival of Israel all highlight the inextricable bond between our people and our land, and no forum or body in the world can come and deny the connection between the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and Jerusalem – and any such body that does so simply embarrasses itself,” said the Israeli president.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Sukkot The Most Dangerous Jewish Holiday

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

While not officially a holiday, the five day period after Yom Kippur leading up to Sukkot are the most most dangerous days in the Jewish calendar (and it’s not because God starts zapping those who didn’t make it into the book or iPad of life on the Day of Atonement).

Five days after Yom Kippur Jews begin the celebration of Sukkot. This festival is one of the three biggies (the other two are Passover and Shavuot). I know what some of you are thinking and the answer is no, Chanukah is a very minor holiday. The three “biggie” festivals as well as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the only holidays ordained by God in the Torah. All the other holidays such as Chanukah, Purim, and my birthday were either created by Rabbis, other great leaders or as in the case of my birthday by a blogger looking for attention (note one holiday does reach the level of the “biggies” above–that is my wedding anniversary -that is because of a Hebrew phrase called “Shalom HaBayit” peace in the household).

As it says in the Torah,

Speak to the children of Israel, saying: On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, is the Festival of Succoth, a seven day period to the Lord.

Oh yeah I forgot to tell you. Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year is the first day of Tishrei the Seventh month in the Jewish calendar (when God created the universe). In Judaism there are four New Years every year. Along with Rosh HaShana are:

The 15th of Shevat also known as Tu B’Shevat–it is the new year for trees. In the Torah it says we are not to eat a tree’s fruit until it is three years or three Tu B’Shevat’s old.

The first of Nisan (which is the first month). Passover is 15 days later. It is said seventy individuals went into Egypt to become slaves and we came out as one people. Nisan celebrates becoming one people and meriting our redemption from Egypt.The first of Nisan is also a reminder to start adding fiber to our diet because all that matzoh we are about eat two weeks during Passover is going to be like cement in our intestines.

The last new year, the first of Elul, is the New Year for the tithing of cattle. The tithe for cattle had to be made from cattle born in the same fiscal year, between the first of Elul one year and the next.

Back to Sukkot, part of the holiday observance is to create a flimsy “structure” with a semi-see though roof–the roof must be built from something that grows in the ground. The structure is called a Sukkah. My friend Eddie built his Sukkah from scratch using raw materials, kind of like the one below. He is what’s known in Hebrew as רוֹדֵף רוֹשֶׁם which translates as “freaking show-off.” As for me, I put together a pre-fabricated Sukkah like the one at the top of this post.


During Sukkot we eat, entertain, and some even sleep in this structure. Personally my favorite part of the holiday is inviting over friends and hanging out in the Sukkah, It seems less pressured than when they come into the house and hang out.

It reminds us of the life of the ancient Israelites life, wandering in the wilderness for 40 years living in structures like this (and arguing over whether or not Moses should stop at a gas station to ask for directions).

More importantly, existing in this kind of flimsy structure, reminds us of the frailty and transience of life and in the end, our necessary dependence on God.

Sukkot has a lot of great meanings, perhaps the best one for today’s world is the fact that it is the Holiday when we pray for the rest of the world. And whatever your religion or political affiliation, I am sure that you will agree that the world needs it!

In Temple times, the High Priest used to make 70 sacrifices during Sukkot, representing a prayer for each of the nations of the world. I would imagine that the five days before Sukkot was a period of prayer for 70 cows.

By the way, do you want to know how many Jews light our Sukkahs? You ever go into Walmart in mid-January and see the store is selling Xmas lights for $1.99 a case? Well the guy you see in the parking lot wheeling the extra-large shopping cart full of cases of Xmas lights is probably a Jew who bought them to light his Sukkah. So I guess some can say Sukkot is the Jewish holiday that has the “Xmas Spirit.”

Sukkot is a happy holiday it referred to in Hebrew as Yom Simchateinu (the day of our rejoicing) or Z’man Simchateinu (the time of our rejoicing). From building the Sukkah, “living in it’ for a week, to tearing it down, Sukkot is a fun and Joyous time for family and friends. We also invite ancient Jewish figures, one different every night. These figures are called Ushpizin (righteous guests) and include Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David. Now if you are cooking for your own Sukkah, I wouldn’t worry, these guys don’t eat that much.

Oh and the reason the five days after Yom Kippur are the the most dangerous days in the Jewish calendar? It’s an interesting story. Generally Jews do not start preparing for any holiday before the previous one has ended. It’s not a superstition thing, it’s that we need focus all of our attention on the holiday at hand before we can move on. This is doubly important when the holiday before is Yom Kippur when we are praying hard asking for forgiveness.

On the five days after Yom Kippur Jews all across the world start building their Sukkahs. The problem is that most Jews aren’t great with tools. And for many of us (like me) the last time we picked up a tool or stepped on a ladder was the day we took down the Sukkah last year. If you can you should peek out your window and observe your Jewish neighbor building their Sukkah–it is the construction equivalent of the Keystone Kops. Well except for my friend Eddie the Sukkah show-off.

The once-a-year use of tools, ladders, etc., is why the five day period is the most dangerous days on the Jewish calendar (it may also be the day where you hear a frustrated Jewish neighbor cursing in some ancient tongue that even they didn’t know they could speak). It is the time where most young Jewish children learn their curse words.

Sukkot starts Sunday night at sundown maybe ya’ll can join me over the next few days, pray for the safety of each nation, may they all remain safe and prosperous, may the ones who fight terror remain vigilant, the ones that promote terror reform their ways, and the ones that are on the fence get a backbone.

BTW you don’t have to be Jewish to pray for the world—as Kinky Freedman, the Jewish country music star would say, “Pray to the God of your choice”

And as we say in the momma loshen (mother tongue-Yiddish). Have a Gut Yuntif (a good holiday)

Jeff Dunetz

S’chach סכך

Friday, October 14th, 2016

People gather S’chach סכך to build the roof of their Sukkah, ahead of the Sukkot holiday.

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/schach-%d7%a1%d7%9b%d7%9a/2016/10/14/

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