On the Sea of Galilee, a boat ride. In Moscow, a parade. In Australia, bonfires from Perth to Melbourne. In South Africa, Bedouin-style braais, as barbecues are known there.
In Israel, the U.S. and other Jewish venues, festive haircuts and weddings and picnics and other spirited celebrations.
On Lag b’Omer, the 33rd day of the period between Passover and Shavuot, a period of semi-mourning because of a divine-sent plague that took the lives of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva 2,000 years ago during the first 32 days of the Omer, joy is a mitzvah.
In Israel, it’s known as Yom Yerushalayim, the annual commemoration of the day, Iyar 28 on the Hebrew calendar, when the capital of the Jewish state was suddenly unified during the Six-Day War in 1967.
In Israel, it’s become a quasi-religious holiday with political and messianic overtones; a time for singing and dancing, rallies and counter-rallies.
Sonia Sotomayor has ruled on only a limited number of cases directly involving the Jewish community or Jewish issues during her 17 years as a federal judge, but her record seems reassuring, according to legal experts and representatives of Jewish organizations.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Sotomayor, from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to succeed Associate Justice David Souter, who is stepping down from the Supreme Court when its current session ends this summer.
For a period in the modern history of Israel, the country’s presidency, largely a figurehead position, was the province of academia, filled — after Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president, a scientist and Zionist leader — by men who became president from largely apolitical professions, a poet and historian among them.
The last man like that died on Saturday.
During the Great Depression Sidney Kronish was, like countless Americans, out of work. He hunched over a typewriter for hours in his family’s cramped Bronx apartment, eventually mailing hundreds of job application letters. Other days, he took the subway to employment offices along Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. “No job was beneath me,” he says. After a series of menial jobs, he found his career in teaching.
A keen sense of self-sacrifice, and a family he leaned on for support, kept him going, Kronish says.
American Jewish World Service, the 24-year-old, New York-based organization that sends volunteers to “alleviate poverty, hunger and disease among people across the globe,” has increased its Jewish content in recent years. AJWS provides its volunteers a more intensive Jewish background through educational workshops and a curriculum that stresses Jewish sources for its ecumenical work.
His uncle came to this spot in rural Germany 65 years ago, as a private in the U.S. Army, carrying a rifle.
Last week President Barack Obama made a pilgrimage to Buchenwald, as a civilian and as commander-in-chief, bearing a single white rose.
If you think Israeli success in international sports these days, you think windsurfing.
That’s the competition, also known as sailboarding, in which a racer rides the waves on a surfboard attached to a sail.
Israel earned its only Olympic gold medal in history, at the Athens Games of 2004, for windsurfing, and it earned a bronze, also in windsurfing, at Beijing last year.
It’s all up in flames—-our reconciliation with the world, with the church, with the Palestinians. Yossi Klein Halevi writes in The Los Angeles Times (April 8) that all the dialogue and advancements are “threatened by a one-sided Christian approach to the Middle East conflict.” Despite the “outrageous invasion of the Church of the Nativity by several hundred Palestinian gunmen and wanted terrorists...