Monday, May 30, 2011
I don't know what beit knesset was receiving this new Scroll, although by the sign on the side of the van with the loudspeakers apparently this and other beit knesset are assisted by an organization which provides the equipment and coordination for the procession.
Actually I was in my apartment at my computer and heard the music and the loudspeakers. Of course, I had to investigate, and when i ran up the terrace to the street where the music was coming from, I discovered the parade. People filled the street and sidewalk, walking along with the procession. Twice the van broke down, the loudspeakers stopped functioning, the lights were out...and people waited. Most importantly, cars and buses also waited, as this is a busy but very narrow thoroughfare and bus route. At one point I counted 8 buses lined up waiting for the procession to pass so they could get through. All I could think was how glad i was that i wasn't ON one of those buses in a hurry to get somewhere !! It was however, coordinated with the police as there were police vehicles at the front and back of the parade.
I've been to many Sefer Torah dedications and each one is special for its own reasons. This one was special because it was in my neighborhood, an unexpected simcha (happy event) to enjoy and join in.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Not long after my neighbor's gift i heard a great commotion on the street above me, with brachot and singing emanating from the loudspeakers, blanketing the neighborhood. A Torah scroll dedication was in progress. I ran up and took several pictures as the Torah was being escorted to it's home in some nearby beit knesset (synagogue). I will share about THAT and the pictures in another post.
..but first the shesek.
The Shesek tree bears it's fruit in late spring and the little oval orange shesekim are sweet and juicy and a favorite amongst Israelis. (both people and birds !! ). Shesek trees are all over Israel, in yards and home gardens and have deep green large broad leaves that protect the clusters of fruit. When you pick the shesek you have to clip the stem above, otherwise the inner fruit is already exposed ready to peel the skin (if you wish) or eat !! Inside are 3 shiny large seeds..(which..of no importance - float ! when dropped in water)
Here are a few shesek recipes from Liz Steinberg from her Tel Aviv based food blog Cafe Liz . Note: Even though some shesek can be slightly tart (depending on the variety), they can usually be substituted for apricot or peach in recipes.
Liz's recipes include among others:
Loquat Peach Waffles
Creamy fruit dessert with loquat and strawberries
Savory roasted loquat and plum
These pictures here on the blog are mine, but because others must agree it is such a pretty fruit i have also included a rather fun Flicker Photo link celebrating the shesek !
Monday, May 23, 2011
semi-mourning period exists due to a plague that occurred during the Rav. Akiva's lifetime.
At any rate, on the 33rd Day, the semi-mourning period ends and observant Jews throughout the world celebrate by lighting bonfires, singing and dancing throughout the night. In Israel, non-religious Jews don't usually participate, but all over Israel, bonfires light the night, smoke fills the air, and partying, singing and dancing continues until the wee hours of the morning, as thousands of traditionally and religiously observant Jews delight in the lifting of restrictions and the end of the mourning period.