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Issue 19
May 2011 
Nissan - Iyar 5771
 
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Dear Reader,

Omer calendar

Now that everyone has had time to come back down to earth from the whirlwind that is Pesach, it's time to focus our sights on Lag B'Omer. In the spirit of this day of outings and excursions, we're highlighting trips nd seminars in our events section this month - I hope you find something to interest you!

The PaL office is now back open as usual of course - we're always thrilled to receive feedback on how your learning partnerships are going and are on hand to offer help and advice on books to study or any other PaL-related issues.

Enjoy the early days of Spring!

Warm wishes
Judy Silkoff
Programme Coordinator 

Round Up...  
An Overview of Events in the Community

JLE logoJLE, 152-154 Golders Green Road, NW11 8HE 


Women's Gateshead Shabbaton in association with Gesher, 6 - 8 May 2011. £75 for women aged 18+. For more information email judy@jle.org.uk.   

 

 

Young Professionals Paris Trip - Thursday 12 - Sunday 15 May 2011. £249 for ages 21 - 35. For more information email caroline@jle.org.uk.


Federation of SynagoguesOhr Yisrael Synagogue, Borehamwood

Three day trip to Poland in association with JRoots. Sunday 22 - Tuesday 24 May, £330 plus flights. For more information contact Deborah on 020 8953 8385.  
 
  

Ask the Rabbi
with Rabbi Harvey Belovski 
Questions from the PaL Mailbag...
 
Q:
Why is Lag B'Omer traditionally associated with trips, outings and picnics?
 

A:

Lag B'Omer is the 33rd day of the 49 days counted between Pesach and Shavuos.  Although the Torah itself treats this period as a kind of countdown from Exodus to Revelation, with a strong agricultural theme (Pesach is the early barley harvest; Shavuos the first wheat harvest), in later Jewish history, it came to have sad overtones.  Thousands of students of Rabbi Akiva died at this time of year in the Roman era, and many Jewish communities were decimated by Crusaders in mediaeval times.  According to tradition, Lag B'Omer was the day on which the plague that affected Rabbi Akiva's students terminated.  As such, it is a day of celebration with a semi-festive air, but there is something deeper - according to the Talmud, the students died because they didn't treat each other with sufficient respect.  Family outings, picnics and other endeavours that build firm relationships with one another are a perfect way to spend the day.

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Phone and Learn (PaL) is a division of Partners in Torah*, USA www.partnersintorah.org, a unique Jewish identity-building initiative committed to fostering unity among Jews of all backgrounds. PaL matches Jews who want to know more about their heritage with a friendly, knowledgeable tutor for an hour a week of Jewish study and discussion, over the phone.
 
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