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Hanukkah traditions
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Anne



Joined: 21 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Annette, thank you again so much for posting the story about Pesach. I'm afraid I spelled it wrong all the time, but that's because I found both "Pesach" and "Pessach" and thought both are okay.
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annette



Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 147
Location: sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almost time for the next Jewish holiday - it falls on the evening of Sunday the 8th June till the evening of the 10th June. Here is a brief outline of what its about:
Shavu'ot, the Festival of Weeks, is the second of the three major festivals with both historical and agricultural significance (the other two are Passover and Sukkot). Agriculturally, it commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple, and is known as Hag ha-Bikkurim (the Festival of the First Fruits). Historically, it celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and is also known as Hag Matan Torateinu (the Festival of the Giving of Our Torah).

The period from Passover to Shavu'ot is a time of great anticipation. We count each of the days from the second day of Passover to the day before Shavu'ot, 49 days or 7 full weeks, hence the name of the festival. See The Counting of the Omer. The counting reminds us of the important connection between Passover and Shavu'ot: Passover freed us physically from bondage, but the giving of the Torah on Shavu'ot redeemed us spiritually from our bondage to idolatry and immorality. Shavu'ot is also known as Pentecost, because it falls on the 50th day; however, Shavu'ot has no particular similarity to the Christian holiday of Pentecost, which occurs 50 days after their Spring holiday.

It is noteworthy that the holiday is called the time of the giving of the Torah, rather than the time of the receiving of the Torah. The sages point out that we are constantly in the process of receiving the Torah, that we receive it every day, but it was first given at this time. Thus it is the giving, not the receiving, that makes this holiday significant.

Shavu'ot is not tied to a particular calendar date, but to a counting from Passover. Because the length of the months used to be variable, determined by observation (see Jewish Calendar), and there are two new moons between Passover and Shavu'ot, Shavu'ot could occur on the 5th or 6th of Sivan. However, now that we have a mathematically determined calendar, and the months between Passover and Shavu'ot do not change length on the mathematical calendar, Shavu'ot is always on the 6th of Sivan (the 6th and 7th outside of Israel. )
Work is not permitted during Shavu'ot.
It is customary to stay up the entire first night of Shavu'ot and study Torah, then pray as early as possible in the morning.
It is customary to eat a dairy meal at least once during Shavu'ot. There are varying opinions as to why this is done. Some say it is a reminder of the promise regarding the land of Israel, a land flowing with "milk and honey." According to another view, it is because our ancestors had just received the Torah (and the dietary laws therein), and did not have both meat and dairy dishes available.
The book of Ruth is read at this time. Again, there are varying reasons given for this custom, and none seems to be definitive.
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Anne



Joined: 21 Aug 2005
Posts: 6528
Location: Germany, the Wild East

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for the info on this holiday, Annette. I already included it in my new calendar for June, but I understood it goes only 2 days. So, should I add June 8th as well?

I used a flower icon this time because I also read that every home and synagogue are being decorated with flowers. Is that okay? I also thought by using a flower I can't make a mistake. Smile
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HorseyJaneFan



Joined: 10 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Annette, thanks so much fotr telling us about Shavu'ot. It was really interesting to read about.

Joanna
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reneag78



Joined: 21 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday I'd seen Shavu'ot listed on my calendar and was curious about it. Thanks for telling us about the event...now I know!!! Very Happy
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annette



Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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Location: sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome guys. Anne a flower is ok but the really big happening of the festival is Moses going up Mount Sinai and getting the Torah because thats really when the Jews entered into the covenant with G-d and became a nation so if you can find a symbol of the Torah scrolls or Moses on the mountain it would be more desciptive. You don't have to include the eighth - if anyone observes the holiday they'll know it starts at the sunset of the evening that day.
I'm off to buy ingredients to make a cheesecake - another highlight of the festival!
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Anne



Joined: 21 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you again, Annette. Well, I'll go and look for a Torah scroll symbol then and will only use the flower if I don't succeed. Smile
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Elaine



Joined: 21 Aug 2005
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Location: western New York state

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Annette~~
Thank you once again for the interesting and educational details about Shavu'ot. It's really nice to hear "first-hand" information about something that I've only heard "of" at church for so many years.
It's fascinating, and the traditions are so meaningful. I appreciate your sharing them with us.
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annette



Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome Elaine Smile
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genevieve



Joined: 27 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it soon is Hannukkah season, isn't it? So I wish all our friends who celebrate this feast a beautiful and happy time, with joy, peace and happiness.
Have a great time with family and friends, and all your beloved ones.
Geneviève
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Anne



Joined: 21 Aug 2005
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Location: Germany, the Wild East

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, Hanukkah is over for this year already, Geneviève. I wish I had known sooner myself that it's been quite early this year. I thought it's around the same time every year, but this year it was from Dec. 1st till 9th.

To my Jewish friends, I hope you had a beautiful holiday. Very Happy Smile
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Cécile



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
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Location: Bayonne, FRANCE

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dear friends, may the Lord's light always be on your way.
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annette



Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 147
Location: sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all your good Chanukah wishes. It was early this year - it changes because the Hebrew calendar is lunar not solar.
I wish you all a happy and peaceful Xmas and a healthy, joyous and peaceful New Year.
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Joan



Joined: 21 Aug 2005
Posts: 537
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, and yes, Hanukkah was early this year.
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Mary Ann
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Joined: 18 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too didn't realize how early it was this year but hope your holiday was wonderful.
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