Shavuot

A Mountain Of Books

My daughters are hardly book-deprived.
Thanks to two older cousins who supply us with a Strand’s worth of hand-me-downs, countless bookish relatives who keep Amazon.com busy around Chanukah and birthdays, and my husband Joe’s seeming inability to walk out of a Barnes & Noble without purchasing something, our bookshelves runneth over.

Waiting For God — As Beckett Or Moses?

04/13/2010

Candlelighting, Readings:
Candlelighting: 7:18 p.m.
Torah Reading: Leviticus 12:1-15:31
Haftarah: II Kings 7:3-20
Sabbath Ends: 8:19 p.m.

Every year about this time, I remember Samuel Beckett’s enigmatic play, “Waiting for Godot.” Beckett refused to identify Godot with God, but this period of the Omer is when Jews wait for God, and the parallel is compelling.

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Half-Off for Yeshiva Studies

03/24/2010

In a desperate move to reduce yeshiva tuitions, a blue-and-white ribbon panel has announced that all courses will be cut in half.

The new curriculum calls for studying the Five Commandments, the 306.5 mitzvot, the 2.5 Books of Moses and the 3 books of Mishnah.

Thinking About Penitence

05/15/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

I can hear you saying “what is this guy talking about?”  After all, it’s two weeks before Shavuot, and penitence is a high holiday theme.  Not yet, rabbi, not yet!!

Finding Comfort Where It Is To Be Found

06/10/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

When last I wrote, I had recently returned from Israel and visiting my very sick mother.  Since then- just a little over two weeks ago- she died.  I flew back to Israel for the burial, sat shiva with my sister for a few days, and then returned here to complete my shivah in my own community in Forest Hills.  The day after I got up from shiva was the eve of Shavuot… It’s been a very long, and very exhausting few weeks.

Shavuot, Samaritan-style

06/20/2008
Staff Writer
They celebrated the Feast of Weeks in Nablus on Sunday — a week later than usual. They are the Samaritans, a two-millennia-old faith with Jewish roots that follows the customs of the Torah, the written law, but not the Talmud, the oral law. Which is why their observance of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks that marks the giving of the Torah, took place this week, a week later than mainstream Judaism marked the holiday. The Samaritans observe their holidays on different dates than Jews do; in Samaritan belief, Shavuot always comes on a Sunday.

Walled In At The Wall

06/05/1998
Staff Writer
Into the fray comes the Reform movement. On Sunday, members of the Conservative movement were verbally accosted by some ultra-Orthodox teenagers while praying in a mixed-gender service at the Western Wall on Shavuot morning. There was pushing and shoving as well, according to eyewitness accounts.

(Gen) X Plus Y Equals 10 (Commandments)

06/10/2005
Staff Writer
This was Ruth Calderon's Shavuot experience as a child in Tel Aviv: She bought cheese for her family's cheesecake, shopped for fruits for an elementary school agricultural presentation and picked out a new white blouse to wear. Her family and her school were secular. Calderon never learned the spiritual significance of Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. "Shavuot as a holiday faded for us," she says.

Shavuot, Samaritan-style

06/18/2008
Staff Writer

They celebrated the Feast of Weeks in Nablus on Sunday — a week later than usual.
They are the Samaritans, a two-millennia-old faith with Jewish roots that follows the customs of the Torah, the written law, but not the Talmud, the oral law.

Which is why their observance of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks that marks the giving of the Torah, took place this week, a week later than mainstream Judaism marked the holiday. The Samaritans observe their holidays on different dates than Jews do; in Samaritan belief, Shavuot always comes on a Sunday.

'The Fire Killed The Entire Community'

06/16/2000
Staff Writer
Satmar chasidim make a pilgrimage to Williamsburg every Shavuot to celebrate the holiday with their rebbe, Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum. This week, unexpectedly, they also mourned with him. The rebbe's brick house in the Brooklyn neighborhood, down the street from the main Satmar synagogue, was a shiva house following the deaths in a two-alarm fire of his granddaughter, Sarah Blima Halberstam, 20, and her 5-month-old daughter, Chaya Esther.
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