Tag Archives: birthday

This Year in Jerusalem

Herzl’s Dream by Laya Crust

For thousands of years Jews have had a dream- to be back in Jerusalem, the capital of our homeland Israel. We settled israel thousands of years ago with Joshua leading us into battle, and the Jews ruled that land until the Romans destroyed our country and exiled the majority of the Jewish citizens. There was always a Jewish presence in Jerusalem and Israel, and a longing for return from Jews around the world.

Theodore Herzl and Chaim Weizmann were two men who, through different political routes, put the wheels in motion to finally facilitate the establishment of Israel in 1948. Tonight we begin celebrating the 70th anniversary of that longed for event.

Today ( April 18, 2018) we observe  Yom haZikaron and tonight we will celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut. They are modern observances, introduced to us with the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.

Future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced the founding of the State of Israel on  the 5th of Iyar, which corresponded to May 14, 1948.


A
s soon as the fledgling country was established its neighbours declared war, hoping to annihilate it. Over six thousand young men and women died, defending their rights to a Jewish State.  Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) is observed the day before Israel Independence Day to honour and remember those who lost their lives defending the barely formed country.

Israel is a complicated country. Like every other country there are political problems, economic problems, challenges with absorbing refugees and opposing opinions between the right wing and the left wing. But- it is a vital country sending medical aid around the world, bringing water technology to drought ridden areas, making major advances in medical technology and developments in electronic technology.

The land of Israel is thousands of years old, and the country of Israel is now 70 years old.

May it get stronger, and more united, more beautiful and better every day.

Happy 70th  Birthday, Israel, and many many more!  Love, Laya!

(Below, links about Yom HaZikaron)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Hazikaron

http://www.aish.com/h/imd/

 

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From Pain to Exaltation

We recently finished observing the eight day holiday of Pesach, a time when we remember the wretchedness of slavery and the subsequent joy of freedom. Pesach was quickly followed by Yom haShoah, a day of memory for victims of the Holocaust. Now, one week later we are observing Yom haZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

These two last days are right beside each other. This year, 2016, Yom haZikaron is on Wednesday May 11 and Yom Ha’Atzmaut is on Thursday May 12. These two days are modern observances, introduced to us with the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.

Future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced the founding of the State of Israel on  the 5th of Iyar, which corresponded to May 14, 1948.


A
s soon as the fledgling country was established its neighbours declared war, hoping to annihilate it. Over six thousand young men and women died, defending their rights to a Jewish State.  Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) is observed the day before Israel Independence Day to honour and remember those who lost their lives defending the barely formed country.

Unfortunately the fighting has never ended. There have been too many wars against Israel and the fighting has never stopped. Each year more lives are lost, more Israeli soldiers killed defending their neighbours and fellow Israelis. Each year innocent Israeli civilians are killed by enemies who want to destroy our beautiful Israeli homeland. We remember these wonderful people and honour them, knowing that they would want us to continue celebrating Israel’s accomplishments and victories.

I looked at the Torah portions we read during these weeks. I was struck by the names of the portions we read the week before and after Israeli Memorial Day and Israeli Independence Day.

Acharei Mot sigKedoshim sig

The names of these two neighbouring parshiot describe our two holidays perfectly  .  אחרי מות “Acharei Mot” means “After the Death”, and קדושים “Kedoshim” means “Holinesses” – or “You Shall be Holy”. Even the titles given to the Torah readings remind us of the modern country of Israel. We are reminded of the people who have died since 1948 defending our right to exist, and our responsibility to cultivate Israel, celebrate and experience Israel, and ultimately to live in Israel, our country.

Below you can watch the incredible acroyoga flashmob “dance ” by the amazing Israeli choreographer Ofir Gothilf. It took place in Tel Aviv’s HaBima Square a couple of months ago. The love of life is so wonderful!!!!

Happy 68th  Birthday, Israel, and many many more!  Love, Laya!

(Below, links about Yom HaZikaron)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Hazikaron

http://www.aish.com/h/imd/

 

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The Trees’ Birthday

20150203_190816[1]Tu B’Shevat- the Trees’ birthday.

In Judaism we have a special place in our heart for trees. We call the Torah “The Tree of Life” We are always looking back at our ancestors- our family tree. It is forbidden in Jewish law to cut down a fruit tree. And in our ancient history some families had a tradition to  plant a tree when a baby was born- a cedar for boys and a cypress for girls. When a couple got married, branches from their trees were used to hold up the marriage canopy. Another tradition- I remember when I was a little girl we would collect money to plant trees in Israel on Tu B’Shevat.

I mention this now because this year Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat, begins tonight, on Tuesday February 3 and continues tomorrow, Wednesday February 4.

One enjoyable and tasty idea is to gather 15 fruits that grow on trees. In the collection above I have figs, dates, almonds, olives, pomegranate, grapefruit, walnuts, avocado, orange, persimmon, mango, pear, plum, carob, and just for the fun of it, dragon fruit.

So get your inner fruit lover and enjoy the abundance with family and friends.

In case you missed it a few days ago, here is a repeat of the Pomegranate- Ginger Bark recipe:

20150201_115733[1]You’ll need:

1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

a pomegranate

fresh ginger root or candied ginger

a sprinkling of salt (I would suggest Malden or kosher salt)
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Remove the seeds from the pomegranate. Peel a 1″ section of ginger. Slice the ginger and dice into tiny pieces. (You can toss the ginger with a small amount of potato starch to absorb  the moisture from the fresh ginger.)

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler.

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Combine 1/3 cup of pomegranate seeds with 1 Tbsp. of ginger, and stir into the melted chocolate.

Pour onto parchment paper and smoothe it out. Sprinkle with a little kosher or Malden salt.

Pour onto parchment paper and smoothe it out. Sprinkle with a little kosher or Malden salt.

 

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Chill the pomegranate bark in the refrigerator or freezer. Serve and enjoy.

 

 

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