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.
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.
Mira, a sergeant in the Red Army during World War II, moved from unit to unit, treating wounded soldiers. Yakov served as a captain, stationed by the navy in several places. Emanuel, an officer, was stationed at the front.
If they were still in the former Soviet Union, they would take part in a national celebration last week of Victory in Europe Day, a holiday commemorating the end of what was called in the USSR “The Great Patriotic.”
The numbers of Holocaust survivors decreases each year, but the numbers who remember the Holocaust victims each year remains constant in New York City.
Some 2,000 people — survivors, their descendants and members of the wider Jewish community — come together every year during the week of Yom HaShoah in the sanctuary of the Upper East Side’s Congregation Emanu-El for the Annual Gathering of Remembrance, the city’s oldest and largest Holocaust memorial ceremony.
Time doesn’t stand still every year on the 27th day of Nissan, but part of Israel does.
On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, at the annual time established by the Knesset in 1951 to memorialize the Jewish people’s collective losses at the hands of the Nazis, restaurants and entertainment venues are closed, Israeli television carries introspective programming and most Israelis stop whatever they are doing when air-raid sirens sound throughout the land.
Over the decades, the Dalai Lama, exiled leader of Tibet’s Buddhist community, has maintained an ongoing dialogue with the international Jewish community — in New York City, in Washington, in Jerusalem and in India, where he has lived for the last half-century.
Last week the Dalai Lama’s Jewish outreach continued.
No, the kids outfitted in crowns and capes aren’t real monarchs — just a pair of young members of the Vizhnitz chasidic community listening to the Megillah reading on Purim this week in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv.
Throughout the country — and Jewish communities in the diaspora — Jews of all ages and all religious affiliations attended Megillah readings, dressed up in costumes, attended parties, drank copious amounts of distilled brew and took part in festive parades.
‘Musically inclined,” Dr. Paul Brody learned to chant the Scroll of Esther, or at least part of the Megillah, while studying at Yeshiva University several decades ago. He picked up the basics at the school’s Cantorial Training Institute. Then his grandfather, Rabbi Jacob Brown, convinced him to learn how to layn the gantze Megillah, the entire scroll.
There was something new and something old at the Manischewitz plant in Newark last week.
New: a production run of 500 cases of kosher-for-Passover shmura matzah. Following the move in 2007 from the kosher food manufacturer’s plant in Jersey City, its home for 76 years, to the state-of-the-art factory in Newark, the new plant produced its Passover goods as usual. But it was not prepared to make shmura (Hebrew for guarded) matzah, which requires that the wheat be supervised from the time of harvesting.