Virtual Israeli Cultural Evening and Chanukah Celebration

Although Chanukah begins Thursday the 10th, tonight the celebrations begin with a special cultural evening.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or even just New Year’s Eve, tonight we are embracing the Holy Land and celebrating the holiday season with a virtual visit to Israel.

On December 9th, embrace the historic spirit of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Tel Aviv in a multi-faceted cultural Israeli evening.

VIRTUAL HISTORIC TOUR OF CHANUKAH

An expert tour guide will join us for a historical tour of the origins of Chanukah.  The Festival of Lights this year begins on the evening of December 10 and runs through the evening of the 18th. This eight-day celebration commemorates the Dedication of the Temple after Judah the Maccabee and his comparatively tiny army led a revolt against the occupying Syrian-Greeks forces.

Through images and discussion, we will revisit the times of the  Maccabees and the miracle of the eight nights. We also get a special virtual tour of how the Jewish people celebrate the holiday in Israel and different parts of the world.

ISRAELI COOKING DEMONSTRATION

An Israeli chef will demonstrate how to make special dishes in time for the holidays.

ISRAELI WINE VIRTUAL DEMONSTRATION

An Israeli wine expert will showcase some special brands, discuss their origins, the proper way to enjoy them, and will offer secrets on how to best get them.

ISRAELI MUSICAL AND DANCE PRESENTATION: 

Get off your chairs and dance along to an Israeli musical presentation and dance presentation from native performers. (Pre Recorded from the Embassy of Israel).

IMAGES FROM ISRAEL

Discover the historical and artistic highlights of Israel– the more you see, the more you’ll seek!

VIRTUAL TOUR OF BETHLEHEM:

Our virtual guide will rejoin us for a tour of modern Bethlehem and show us the sites relevant to the upcoming Christmas celebration.

CHANUKAH CELEBRATION

We will finish the evening with some virtual games, traditions, and mingling.

Tu B’Av

Tu B’Av (the 15th of Av) is undoubtedly a most mysterious day. A search of the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) reveals no observances or customs for this date, except for the instruction that the tachanun (confession of sins) and similar portions should be omitted from the daily prayers, and that one should increase one’s study of Torah, since the nights are growing longer, and “the night was created for study.” The Talmud tells us that many years ago the “daughters of Jerusalem would go dance in the vineyards” on the 15th of Av, and “whoever did not have a wife would go there” to find himself a bride.

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the month of Av, is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, on which we fast, deprive ourselves and pray. It is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a period of time during which we mark the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Tzom Tammuz

The fast of the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, known as Shivah Asar B’Tammuz, is the start of a three-week mourning period for the destruction of Jerusalem and the two Holy Temples.

Shavuot

Shavuot, the feast of weeks, is celebrated seven weeks after the second Passover seder. Although Shavuot began as an ancient grain harvest festival, the holiday has been identified since biblical times with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

Lag B’Omer

Lag B’Omer is a minor holiday that occurs on the 33rd day of the Omer, the 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot. A break from the semi-mourning of the Omer, key aspects of Lag B’Omer include holding Jewish weddings (it’s the one day during the Omer when Jewish law permits them), lighting bonfires and getting haircuts.

Pesach Sheni

Pesach Sheni means “Second Passover [Sacrifice].” It marks the day when someone who was unable to participate in the Passover offering in the proper time would observe the mitzvah exactly one month later.

Passover

Passover is a festival of freedom. It commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the seder, which occurs on the first two night (in Israel just the first night) of the holiday — a festive meal that involves the re-telling of the Exodus through stories and song and the consumption of ritual foods, including matzah and maror (bitter herbs). The seder’s rituals and other readings are outlined in the Haggadah.

Ta’anit Bechorot (Fast of the Firstborn)

It is an ancient and widespread custom for the firstborn to fast on the day before Passover. This commemorates the miracle which spared the firstborn Jewish sons from the plague which struck down the firstborn sons of the Egyptians.The firstborn of the Jews were saved in Egypt because they humbled themselves before God, admitting and declaring that all greatness, power, and sovereignty are His alone.

Shushan Purim

The fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar are celebrated as Purim. The specific day on which Purim is celebrated depends on the location; in places where Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth, it is not celebrated on the fifteenth, and vice versa.

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