Jerusalem U Blog

Hanukka - 8 Crazy Facts for 8 Crazy Nights

Hanukka is arguably the most popular and best known of Jewish festivals. 

You probably know what it's all about: the Maccabees miraculously beat the Greeks and the thing with the day's worth of oil that burned for eight days... throw in some doughnuts and dreidles and yada yada you have Hannukah... or Chanuka, Hanukah, Hanukka...ok, however you spell it, here are a few crazy Festival of Lights facts that will make you a hit at any candle lighting: 

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Shavuot - Five Ideas For Making It a Meaningful Experience.

I've always felt a little sorry for Shavuot -  Succot and Pesach (Shavuot's partner festivals) are each a week long and full of cool stuff that Jews are commanded to either do (like eating Matzah, shaking a Lulav & Etrog, building and eating in a Succah and holding a Seder).

Poor old Shavuot is just one day (two outside Israel), and the Torah doesn't give it any particular commandments for us to do - in fact it is the only Jewish festival that doesn't even have a date, we are simply told that it is held 50 days after Pesach. Maybe that's the reason that for large parts of the Jewish world, Shavuot gets forgotten.

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Light My Fire - Lag BaOmer

Lag BaOmer (May 26, 2016) marks the anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai - mystic and author of the Zohar, the seminal kabbalistic work that illuminates the divine light within every soul. The Omer itself is a 50-day period between the second day of Passover and the festival of Shavuot, when we celebrate the day the Jewish people received the Torah at Mount Sinai.

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