Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tisha B'Av FAST starts on Saturday, July 21, 2018 (before sunset) - ends Sunday July 22, 2018 (after sunset)

Tisha B'Av - The Saddest Day of the Year 

For exact times of the Fast please visit: result for tisha b'av images

In Biblical times, it was on this day that the 12 spies returned with a bad report about the Land of Israel, causing a decree of 40 years of wandering in the desert. About 500 years later, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed on Tisha B'Av. And about 500 years later - on the same calendar day - the Second Temple was destroyed as well. Only one wall, known to us as the Wailing Wall remains at its place.

The harshness of Tisha B'Av has continued throughout the generations. 

Tisha B'Av, 1492, one of history's most infamous deadlines arrived. It was on that day that the Jews of Spain had to convert or leave the country.

To contemporary people, the tragedy of our century is the Holocaust. As history has shown, WWII was a consequence of many political events that happened due to WWI. 

World War One began on Tisha B'Av. 

On July 23, 1942 Tish B'Av of that year, Heinrich Himmler received formal Nazi approval to implement the Final Solution.

On Tisha B’Av we abstain from:

·                         Eating and drinking. Anyone over bar/bat mitzvah fasts, including pregnant and nursing women. Feeling ill? Consult a rabbi.

·                         Bathing or washing. Exceptions: soiled hands, upon exiting the restroom, and the morning ritual handwashing (only the fingers).

·                         Applying lotions or creams.

·                         Wearing shoes that contain leather.

·                         Marital relations.

·                         Learning or reading anything other than subjects concerning the Temples’ destruction or other sad events of Jewish history. 

In the 1800's, the Emperor Napoleon passed by a Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter in France. The day happened to be TishaB'Av. He heard the sounds of weeping and wailing coming from within.

He summoned over one of the Jews and asked, "What is everyone crying about?" "We are lamenting the destruction of our Holy Temple (Bais Hamikdash) in Jerusalem." "When did this happen," asked Napoleon, aghast, "I didn't hear anything of this and my ministers report to me twice daily of all the current news and events around the world." "Sire, our Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. by the Romans." Said Napoleon, "A people - that passionately mourns a national tragedy that took place over 17 centuries ago - is ETERNAL."

In 1967, Jews from all over the world flocked to Israel to see the Kotel (Wailing Wall), which had been off limits to Jews for many years. The Israeli army set up guards near the wall. During one particular shift there were two soldiers standing guard, watching the steady stream of people of all Jewish backgrounds pouring their hearts out at the holy wall. One of the soldiers started crying. The other soldier asked, "Why are you crying?" "I can understand all of these people being emotional over the Kotel for they are religious Jews; but, you and I were brought up on a nonreligious kibbutz. Religion has no meaning or significance to us. So why are you crying" The first soldier answered, "I am crying over the fact that I am not crying." "As I see these people, I realize that there must be something very special - something very deep and profound - about the Destruction and about the whole religion. I know that there is something very beautiful that I am missing. It is for this that I cry

For my Russian speaking friends, please watch my 15 minute video on this subject:


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

This Year - Shavuot begins at Sunset on Saturday, May 19 right after Shabbath - ends Monday, May 21 after Sunset.

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A Very Very Simple Guide for Shavuot Celebration

(This Document contains G-d's Name, therefore it may NOT be thrown out)

For More Information Visit:

The holiday of Shavuot is the day on which we celebrate the great revelation of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, 3,330 years ago. You stood at the foot of the mountain. Your grandparents and great-grandparents before them. The souls of all Jews, from all times, came together to hear the Ten Commandments from G‑d Himself.

Every year on the holiday of Shavuot we renew our acceptance of G‑d’s gift, and celebrate our identity.

The giving of the Torah was a far-reaching spiritual event—one that touched the essence of the Jewish soul for all times. Our sages have compared it to a wedding between G‑d and the Jewish people. Shavuot also means “oaths,” for on this day G‑d swore eternal devotion to us, and we in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him.


  • Women and girls light holiday candles to usher in the holiday, on both the first and second evenings of the holidays.
  • It is customary to stay up all night learning Torah on the first night of Shavuot. (the night of Saturday night May 19th). One explanation for this tradition is that the Jewish people did not rise early on the day G‑d gave the Torah, and it was necessary for G‑d Himself to awaken them. To compensate for their behavior, Jews have accepted upon themselves the custom of remaining awake all night.
  • All men, women and children should go to the synagogue on the first day of Shavuot to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments.

  • Since Shavuot is also called the “Harvest Festival,” it is customary to adorn the home and synagogue with fruits, flowers and greens. Furthermore, our Sages relate that although Mount Sinai was situated in a desert, when the Torah was given the mountain bloomed and sprouted flowers.
  • As on other holidays, special meals are eaten, and no “work” may be performed.

  • It is customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot. Among other reasons, this commemorates the fact that upon receiving the Torah, including the kosher laws, the Jewish people could not cook meat in their pots, which had yet to be rendered kosher. Also, the Torah is likened to nourishing milk. The Hebrew word for milk is chalav, and when the numerical values of each of the letters in the word chalav are added together—8 + 30 + 2—the total is forty. Forty is the number of days Moses spent on Mount Sinai when receiving the Torah.
  • On the second day of Shavuot, the Yizkor memorial service for the deceased is recited.
  • Some communities read the Book of Ruth publicly, as King David—whose passing occurred on this day—was a descendant of Ruth, one of the most famous converts to Judaism.
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All times are for Philadelphia PA

Women (or if there isn't a woman in the house, the head of the household), light candles. Saturday and Sunday nights please light from existing fire. You can light a memorial 24 hour candle before Shabath for this purpose.

Friday May 18th - at 7:54pm

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam asher ki-deshanu be-mitzvo-tav ve-tzvi-vanu Lehadlik Ner Shel Shabath Koidesh
 (Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us light the candle of Holly Shabath.)
Saturday  May 19th After 9:24 pm
and Sunday May 20th after 9:25 pm
Say both prayers on both nights
Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam asher ki-deshanu be-mitzvo-tav ve-tzvi-vanu Lehadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov
 (Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us light the candle of the Holiday.)

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh
(Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.)

Evening Kiddush for Saturday and Sunday Nights

Kiddush is recited while holding a cup of kosher wine or grape juice.

Baruch atah A-donay, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam borei pri hagafen.

Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.

Barukh atah A-do-nai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam asher bachar banu mee-kol am, v'rom'manu mee-kol lashon v'kee'd'shanu b'meetzvotav, va-teeten lanu, A-do-nai Elohaynu, b'ahavah mo'adeem l'seemchah, chageem u-z'maneem l'sason, et yom chag haShavuot hazeh zman matan torateynu meekra kodesh, zeicher leetzeeyat meetz'rayeem Ki Vanu Vacharta V’osanu Keedashtsa mee-kol ha'amim U-mo'aday Kadsh’kha b'simchah u-v'sason hin’chal’tanu. Barukh atah Adonai, mkadesh Yisra'el v'ha-z'manim. (Amein)

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe who has chosen us from among all people, and exalted us above every tongue and sanctified us with His commandments, and you gave us, Lord our God, with love appointed festivals for gladness, festivals and times for joy, this day of  the festival of Shavuot, the time of our gladness a holy convocation, a memorial of the exodus from Egypt Indeed, You have chosen us and made us holy among all peoples and  your holy festivals in gladness and in joy you have given us for an inheritance Blessed are You, who sanctifies Israel and the seasons. (Amen)

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh.

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign king of the universe who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)

Pour some wine into a separate cup for guests and then drink the rest yourself without talking.

On Saturday night , add the following two Havdalah blessings.

A multi wicked candle or two ordinary candles with flames touching each other, should be held before the person reciting the Havdalah. After the first blessing, hold the fingers up to the Flames to see the reflected light.

Baruch attah Adonai eloheinu Melech ha-olam Borei Meorei Haeish.

Baruch attah Adonai eloheinu Melech ha-olam, hamavdil bein kodesh lichol bein or lichoshech bain Yisrael laamim bein yom hashvii lsheshes yemei hamaaseh. Bein kidushas Shabbos lkedushas yom tov hivdalta vies yom hashvii misheshes yemei hamaseh kidashta. Hivdalta vkidashta es amcha Yisroel bkidushasecha. Baruch attah adonai, hamavdil bein Kodesh Likodesh.

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Immediately following the kiddush, we perform the ritual washing for bread. Fill a large cup with water. Pass the cup to your left hand and pour three times over your right hand. Repeat by pouring on your left hand. As you wipe your hands recite the blessing:

Baruch atah A-donoy, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam, asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al netilat yadayim.

When everyone has returned to the table, we raise the two challah loaves and recite the blessing:

Ba-ruch atah A-do-nay, E-lo-hei-nu Melech Ha-Olam, hamotzie le-chem min ha-are-tz.

[Blessed are You, L-rd, our G‑d, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.]

Cut the Challah, dip it in salt 3 times and have a bite. Pass around pieces.Image result for ten commandments image
The Ten Commandments

1. "I am the Lord your G-d, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

2. "You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, nor any manner of likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them, nor serve them. For I the Lord your G-d am a jealous G-d, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children of the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto the thousandth generation of them that love Me and keep My commandments.

3. "You shall not take the name of the Lord your G-d in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.

4. "Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath unto the Lord your G-d. On it you shall not do any manner of work -- you, your son, your daughter, your man-servant, your maid-servant, your cattle, and your stranger that is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day, and hallowed it.

5. "Honor your father and mother, so that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your G-d gives you.

6. "You shall not murder.

7. "You shall not commit adultery.

8. "You shall not steal.

9. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, his manservant, his maid-servant, his ox, his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor's."

Recipe Ideas
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18 double graham crackers 
2/3 cup margarine, softened 
1/3 cup sugar 


1/2 cup oil 
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour 
4 Tbsps. brown sugar 
1/4 cup shredded coconut 

1 pound cream cheese 
3/4 pound cottage cheese 
2 eggs 
1 1/2 cups sugar 
1/4 tsp. Salt 
2 1/2 Tbsps. cornstarch 
1 1/4 cups sour cream 
3/4 cup milk 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 

USE: 9 x 13 inch pan 
YIELDS: 20 servings 

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST: Crush graham crackers in blender until finely ground. Place crumbs in a large bowl. Add margarine and sugar and combine well. Press firmly into pan on sides and bottom. 

Preheat oven to 350°. 

WHOLE WHEAT CRUST: Mix oil, flour, and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add coconut, if desired. Press mixture into bottom of pan. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. 

FILLING: Beat cream cheese and cottage cheese together until smooth. Add eggs and beat until blended Combine sugar, salt, and cornstarch with cheese mixture Add sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Blend well. Pour filling slowly into crust. 

Bake for I hour. Turn oven off and allow cake to cool in oven for about I hour. 

Serve chilled 

TOPPING SUGGESTIONS: Add fresh fruit or berries, shaved almonds or 1/2 cup reserved graham cracker crust 

NOTE: Graham crackers can also be crushed by hand: place in plastic bag and fasten tightly. Crush grahams with rolling pin.

Cheese Blintzes

Blintzes are a traditional dish for the holiday of Shavuot. Top with sour cream, apple sauce or cinnamon and sugar. 

4 eggs 
1/2 cup milk 
1/2 cup water 
1 cup flour 
1/4 cup sugar 
1 package vanilla sugar 
Pinch of salt 
1 Tbsp. oil 

1/2 pound farmer cheese 
4 ounces cream cheese 
4 Tbsps. honey or 
maple syrup 
juice of 1/2 lemon 
1 egg yolk 

1 pound cottage cheese, 
2 egg yolks 
2 Tbsps. flour 
2 Tbsps. sugar 
1 tsp. vanilla sugar 
1/4 cup raisins (optional) 

USE: 7 inch skillet 
YIELDS: 12 blintzes 

BATTER: In a large mixer bowl combine eggs, milk, water and blend well. Gradually add flour, then both sugars, salt and oil. Beat well until there are no lumps in the batter. 

FILLING I: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat well. Or combine all the ingredients in a blender container and blend until smooth. 

FILLING II: Combine all ingredients, except raisins, in a bowl and beat well. Or all the ingredients can be combined in a blender container and blended until smooth. Then add raisins. 

TO ASSEMBLE CREPES: 1. Prepare batter and filling of your choice. Using a paper towel or basting brush, apply a thin coating of oil to a 7 inch skillet. Place skillet over medium heat until skillet is hot but not smoking.

2. Ladle approximately 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet. Tilt pan to swirl the batter so it covers the bottom of the skillet.

3. Fry on one side until small air bubbles form, and top is set. Bottom should be golden brown. When done, carefully loosen edges of crepe and slip out of skillet onto a plate..

4. Repeat the above procedure until all the batter is used. Grease the skillet as needed..

5. Turn each crepe so that golden brown side is up. Place 3 tablespoons of filling on one edge in a 2 1/2 inch long by 1-inch wide mound..

6. Roll once to cover filling. Fold the sides into the center and continue rolling until completely closed..

7. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet and place each crepe seam side down in the skillet and fry 2 minutes on each side, turning once. 

VARIATION: Whole wheat pastry flour can be used instead of white flour.