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A condolence message and candles for the victims of a stampede during a Jewish ultra-Orthodox mass pilgrimage to Mount Meron, projected on a wall of Jerusalem’s Old City. Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images

Lag BaOmer pilgrimage brings Orthodox Jews closer to eternity – I experienced this spiritual bonding in years before the tragedy

The Lag BaOmer pilgrimage, in which 45 people died recently, takes place each year to what is believed to be the gravesite of the second-century Talmudic sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.
Vice President Kamala Harris swears in Sen. Raphael Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff on Capitol Hill in Washington. Senate Television via AP

Sen. Ossoff was sworn in on pioneering Atlanta rabbi’s Bible – a nod to historic role of American Jews in civil rights struggle

In choosing a Hebrew Bible belonging to a civil rights leader, Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, Sen. Jon Ossoff appeared to be sending out a message on the strong historic ties between Black people and Jews.
An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man is arrested by Israeli security forces for resisting efforts to shut down a synagogue in the Me’a She’arim neighborhood in Jerusalem, April 17, 2020. AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images

Jewish history explains why some ultra-Orthodox communities defy coronavirus restrictions

Persecution is central to Jewish collective memory. So when armed police entered ultra-Orthodox areas of Jerusalem to close synagogues due to COVID-19, some residents reacted with fear and suspicion.
The Jewish ritual of bar mitzvah. which marks a 13-year-old young man’s assumption of religious and legal obligations under Jewish law. Israel_photo_gallery

What is a bar mitzvah?

The Jewish coming-of-age ritual of bar mitzvah evolved to its current form during the time of Enlightenment, when Jewish families feared losing their traditions.

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