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Bamidbar: Torah Study Shavuot Night

May 17, 2007, by

Perhaps the most prominent custom of the Shavuot holiday is to stay up at night studying Torah. This custom is mentioned in the Zohar, which explains the importance of this custom by an interesting analogy (Zohar on Emor III:97-98). The Zohar likens the period of counting Omer to the process of a woman going through

When Heaven Met Earth

May 17, 2007, by

It is nighttime and all are asleep. A cool breeze blows through my tangled hair, fresh in the desert air. It is so quiet and clear, like a simple black-and-white photograph. It seems like morning will never come, but I know it will. How can anyone sleep: doesn’t the excitement make them restless? As I

Let’s Make this Shavuot Like the First – With Everyone Included

May 16, 2007, by

When the Jews in the wilderness told God “Naaseh v’nishma” – We will do [what the Torah commands] and we will obey its lessons – they took it upon themselves to study and adhere to the Torah’s every dictate. This act of communal acceptance was, as Rashi’s commentary teaches us: k’ish echad b’lev echad – as one person

Shavuot: A Dairy Delicious Feast

May 10, 2007, by

Shavuot is the festival that commemorates the receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. It is customary to eat dairy dishes, especially sweet ones such as cheese blintzes and cheesecakes, which symbolize the sweetness of the Torah. Blintzes are a traditional treat because they also represent the shape of the Torah. Other traditional dairy dishes

Mrs. Weiser’s Cheesecake

June 1, 2006, by

Suri wandered through the narrow aisles of the makolet, peering disconsolately at the unfamiliar items. She picked up a package of crackers and examined it carefully. She replaced it on the shelf with a disappointed sigh. The year was 1965 and Suri Schwartz was a new bride who had only recently moved to Eretz Yisroel

Timeless Teachers

May 31, 2006, by

Shavuot is a particularly auspicious time for learning Torah. It’s also a good time to remember the people who are responsible for supplying us with the tools for and the love of learning – the teachers of Torah . As a student of long standing, as the wife of a life-long teacher, as the mother

Shavuot… Such Dairy Good Memories!

May 25, 2006, by

Although Judi Permut lives in Israel and I live in Toronto, we share many common memories despite the fact that we’ve never met. We’re both originally from Winnipeg and we both love to cook. Apparently, our mothers knew each other before Judi’s family made aliya to Israel over 30 years ago. Even our grandparents knew