Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 19

Still counting the omer.  Today is day  19 as we draw near to Sinai and Shavuot.

Here's  another anonymous writer answering, What does Israel mean to me?

Israel means "home."  It is living with your extremely large extended family.  It is never having to  "define" your food (latke, knish, charoset, sufganiyot).  It is being able to keep a kosher home with driving one hour to buy mean.  It is never having to deal with your crying child when someone tells him thatJews are cheap.  It is not having to explain that Christmas is not a secularl holiday.  It is our assurance that there is a place that will never persecute you for being a Jew.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 18

On the 18th day of counting the Omer we have two anonymous  writers

Israel: A lifetime wih to visit and walk the paths of our Lord.

My heritage.  I am proud to be a Jew.  I love all our holidays and everyday life as being a Jew.  I try my best to be a good one.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 16

Day 16 of counting the omer.

Here's today's answer from Mike Menichiello.

For me it has always symbolized strength.  I remember being a child when a plane was hijacked and how amazed I was with how Israel handled the situation.  The message that I remember was swift and powerful: a message of solidarity, power and unity.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 15

Sherrill Lazarus wrote a poem for Day 15 of counting the omer.

Independence - Freedom to be a Jew, however we define that word - ISRAEL
Shalom - Where everyone shares responsibility to care for one another - ISRAEL
Religion - At the center, ha makom, we have our religion - ISRAEL
Acceptance - Though we are from many places and many paths, here we are all one - ISRAEL
Eretz Israel - our place, our piece of this Earth, now and forever ours - ISRAEL
Life - The Jewish heart and soul and center and spirit - ISRAEL

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 14

Mona Rieger forwarded me this video in response to the question: What does Israel mean to me?

Tonight begins day 14 of the counting of the omer.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 13

We are counting the Omer and tonight brings the 13th day of the counting.

Wendy Levy-Rosario wrote about what Israel means to her.

It is a place where I can go and see old friends. It is a place where I can swim in a beautiful ocean and experience the desert at the same moment. It is a place where I can re-experience kibbutz life and take pleasure in the great memories I had while a student at ulpan. It is a beautiful land that bares the most incredible fruits not to mention the biggest and freshest peanuts I have ever had. It's a place I can call may home and a land that allows me to feel the presence of my religion (as well as other religions) and the tradition that I grew up with. I love Israel and dream of returning one day with my children.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Counting the omer day 12

Michael Levenstein tells us what Israel means to him:
Israel means a place where Jews can worship freely and a home for all Jews.

Rebecca Levinstein wrote: To me, Israel is a special place in Jewish history I would love to visit some day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 11

Today is the 11th day of the counting of the Omer.

Lily Haber wrote: to me Israel means that I can always go there in case of troubled times and always will be welcome.

Gabe Rosario wrote: This is what Israel means to me. Israel means the center of life.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 10

Today is the 10th day of the counting of the Omer.

George Levy is our writer:
To me, Israel represents the extension of our people throughout the world. It is for that reason that we take pride in Israel's accomplishments and feel shame when the government fails to live up to our high moral values. We continue to hope that Israel will be the example for the world despite the fact that so many dream of its destruction.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 9. What does Israel mean to me?

Today is day 9 of the counting of the Omer.

Ian Rieger answered our question today: Israel makes me proud. It is a study of contrasts. It is old and new. It fills me with optimism and makes me worry about its survival. It is high tech and ancient. It is so small but figures so large on the world stage. I feel proud when I think of Israel.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 8

Today is the day 8 of the counting of the omer. One week and a day.

Elaine Cowen wrote that Israel means liberation.
Heidi Cowen wrote, "To me, Israel means the homeland of the Jews, a place where all are welcome. And Zionism."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 7

Today is the 7th day of the counting of the Omer. 1 whole week! We are 1/7th of the way to Sinai.

Steven Sirota answered the question, What does Israel mean to you?

Israel is the center, as of a circle, that the Jews of the world revolve around. The focal point of Jewish law, life and traditions.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 6

Counting the omer and today is day 6.

Jan Sosnick wrote: Israel is a place that is growing and becoming more modern. It is also a place where Jews can be traditional. It is a place that means we can practice Judaism of any form: traditional or modern.

Jonathan Sosnick wrote: Israel is a place where Jews can be Jews.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 5

Day 5 counting the omer.

An anonymous writer from our community seder wrote: It means a homeland for all Jewish people to go to. To be free from anti-semitism and live your life with no oppression.

Did you know TBJ is having an adults only trip to Israel February 2013? I need a minimum of 10 people and we are close. Let me Rabbi Freedman know you are want more information.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 4

Day four of counting the omer. What does Israel mean to me?

Ariel Haber wrote: To me, Israel is a place of miracles with unlimited possibilities.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 3

Tonight begins day 3 of the counting of the omer.

The question this year is, What does Israel mean to me? Here's the answer from David Sosnick. Israel means where the Jews can be in the holiest place of all. They also have the chance to get to know the history of Israel. It has the history of good Jews that obey God and the bad Jews that don't obey God. Also, you can practice Judaism and be traditional.

Day 2

Today is day 2 of the counting of the Omer. At our community seder, I had many answers to this year's question, what does Israel mean to me. Send in your responses and I'll post them here. Keep checking each day as we count the omer together.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Four Questions about Israel. Omer day 1.

Day 1 of counting the Omer.

Here's a part of a post asking four questions about Israel. The whole piece is here:

Four Zionist Questions for the Seder

by Rabbi Daniel R. Allen

Israel and Zionism should be at the core of our Passover observance. The Exodus from Egypt had a goal not just of freedom for the Jewish People but a return to our own land, our own sovereignty, and our own Jewish ways of living. We are required to make the story meaningful for every generation; hence we should be asking four important questions about Israel and considering four kinds of Zionists.

Four Zionist questions for the Seder

All countries have governments, borders, neighbors, culture, language(s), economies, their own internal politics, and legitimacy within the family of nations. Why is Israel the only country whose legitimacy as a sovereign state is challenged in so many ways by so many people?

On all other nights we may think of places all around the world we would like to visit. Why on this night do we say only “Next Year in Jerusalem?”

On all other nights we may consider the advantages or challenges of the country of our citizenship. Why on this night do we consider what makes Israel different from all other countries?

Most countries and societies need and welcome the voluntary sector in order to achieve their declared dreams. Israel’s Declarations of Independence challenges us all to “ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions,” as well as to make peace with her neighbors. Why, on this night, are we not working more diligently to assist Israel in achieving its stated goals of equality for all her citizens, to build a more inclusive democratic society and peace with all her neighbors?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Time for seder and then counting the omer!

It's that time to count the omer as we travel from slavery to freedom at Mt. Sinai. Here is this year's question.

Israel is a complicated place. It means so much to so many on cultural, religious, historical levels. It is also heartwarming and frustrating. Sometimes it is a source of pride and sometimes it is a source of shame. With all that, can you answer this simple and complex question: What does Israel mean to me?

Send your answers in to me at