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Showing posts from May, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

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A couple of weeks ago, as one of my son was looking at my father's (his grandfather's)

Lag BaOmer - Loneliness and Community

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This week's portion, Emor, gives the laws of the counting of the Omer.  From the night after the first day of Passover we count seven weeks, forty-nine days.  Each evening at nightfall, we say a blessing and then count: "today is ____ days, which is ____ weeks and ____ days of the Omer."  When we reach forty-nine days which is seven weeks, we prepare for the next evening, the festival of Shavuot.  Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah.  By counting, we link Passover, the festival of freedom, with Shavuot, the festival of revelation.  
Even though every night has its own unique number, not all nights are created equal.  One of those nights is Lag BaOmer, literally the 33rd night of the Omer.  Traditionally it is a day of celebration, a day for haircuts (especially little boys when they are three years old) and weddings.  There is also a tradition of campfires, which one sees all over Israel on Lag B'Omer.   Finally, Lag B'Omer is the anniversary of the death …