The above verse commands every Jew to make a pilgrimage to the Beit Hamikdash and appear before Hashem in the Temple on three major festivals: Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot. In the times of the Temple, Jews would ascend to the Temple Mount to offer sacrifices to Hashem. These three annual pilgrimages ensured that the Jewish people continued to make frequent visits to the Temple and that their connection to Hashem remained strong throughout the year. Pesach, Shavuot and the Feast of Tabernacles remain central to Jewish life in Israel. Unfortunately, there are many needy Israelis who cannot afford to celebrate these holidays in any sort of meaningful way due to financial troubles. Meir Panim, one of Israel's oldest charitable organizations, distributes additional provisions to Israel's impoverished during the holiday season to make sure that no Israeli goes hungry. All donations made to Meir Panim will now be matched, doubling the impact of any gift.
Every year during Sukkot, members of the Priestly class in Israel known as 'Kohanim' ascend to the Western Wall and bless Israel with the words of Numbers 6:23-27. Tens of thousands of Israelis and visitors gather in the plaza of the Western Wall to experience this ancient ritual firsthand.
All of God’s bounty is beneficial for us and there are many delicious foods that grow in the Land of Israel, yet the Creator of the world singled out seven species of fruit and grain as being particularly blessed. Over the centuries, many have sought to explain the special significance of the ‘Seven Species,’ known as the שבעת המינים in Hebrew (shee-VAT ha-mee-NEEM). Each one contains healthful nutrients that benefit the body and promote wellness and is incorporated into one of these amazing artisan soaps.
The origins of Pesach (Passover) lie in the Springtime celebrations of the first grain harvest. The holiday celebrates God’s great redemptive act of the Jews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt to freedom. According to Jewish law, it is forbidden to eat or even possess any food that can contain leaven, chamtez, on Passover. Therefore, a major part of the preparations for Pesach consists of removing all traces of leavened foods from the home. Many begin to clean for Passover and stock their kitchens with special kosher-for-Passover foods weeks before the holiday. With only a few weeks remaining until Passover begins on April 10th, start your preparations now!
Israel has produced an incredible amount of Nobel prize winners in a wide number of categories, but we especially shine in science research! Meet Professor Dan Schechtman, who discovered a revolutionary new kind of crystal.
Shivat cosmetics has developed an amazing like of soaps, based on the verse in Deuteronomy, where God blesses the Land of Israel with wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. These seven grains and fruits are known as the seven species, and Shivat soaps feature an amazing line of soaps, one for each of the seven species. Buy all seven and save!
Today's photograph by Ilan Rosen is of a herd of camels in the Negev desert. Camels have been an important part of the Holy Land’s landscape from Biblical times as described by Isaiah, “they carry their wealth...and riches upon the camels’ hump” (30:6). Visitors to Israel today can enjoy a camel safari in the footsteps of the patriarchs.
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