Seven weeks after we celebrate Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people’s liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God “passed over” the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc)., we mark the holiday of Shavuot—literally “weeks.” In the Bible, Shavuot is the holiday fifty days after Passover and commemorates when the Israelite liberation from Egypt culminates with the giving of the Torah. Traditionally, Jews study in an all-night study session, eat dairy products (one interpretation is that the Torah is like milk to us), and read both the Ten Commandments and the Book of Ruth. was primarily an agricultural holiday, marking the end of the grain harvest and the beginning of a new agricultural season during which first fruits were brought to the Temple in Lit. City of peace From the time of David to the Roman destruction, Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and the spiritual and governmental center of the Jewish people. During the long exile, Jews longed to return to Jerusalem and wrote poems, prayers, and songs about the beloved city. In 1967, with the capture of the Old City, Jerusalem was reunited, becoming “the eternal capital of Israel.” Still, the longing for peace is unfulfilled.. Later, Shavuot came to be associated with the giving of the The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes “Torah” is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general. on Mt. According to the Torah, God, in the presence of the Jewish people, gave Moses the Torah on Mount Sinai (Har Sinai).. On Passover, we were physically freed from slavery; on Shavuot, our freedom is given purpose—we are free in order to serve God according to the dictates of the Torah. Shavuot is celebrated with an all-night study session called An all-night study session held on Shavuot to recall the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.. It is also common to eat cheesecake and other dairy foods, since the Torah is likened to milk and honey. In this section you will find some ideas for a women’s tikkun, feminine blessings for the Torah, and some poetry and meditations.
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