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The Song of Songs
April 22, 2011 – 3:05 am
The Song of Songs

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine. Because of the fragrance of your goodly oils, your name is ‘oil poured forth.’ Therefore, the maidens loved you. Draw me, we will run after you…” (Song of Songs 1:2-4).

And people say the Bible is boring…

Shir Hashirim, (The Song Of Songs), the Biblical love song attributed to King Solomon, is understood by the rabbis to be a prophetic allegory about the relationship of God and the Jewish people.

The poetic work describes a beautiful maiden who loves, and is loved by, a handsome youth. When he pursues her, however, she sends him away with various excuses, only to realize too late that he was her true love. Devastated at the thought that she has alienated and probably lost him, she wanders through the city streets looking for her lost lover and, in the process, suffers shame and embarrassment. Finally, the lovers are reunited and are joined by their sincere love.

Shir Hashirim is one of the five megillot (scrolls of canonical works) from the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Bible. On the Shabbat of Chol HaMoed* Passover, it is customary for Shir Hashirim to be read in the synagogue.

Shir Hashirim was chosen as the Passover reading because the story of the Exodus demonstrates God’s patience with His beloved–the Jewish people, as represented by the maiden. Despite having witnessed the many miracles that God performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, the Jews strayed from their commitment to God. Eventually, God withdrew His favor from the Jews (Hester Panim), and they have since wandered the world trying to make amends for the damage caused to the relationship. The reunion of the lovers is a prophecy for the Messianic era, yet to be fulfilled.

*Passover is an 8 day holiday. The first two days and last two days are Yamim Tovim – days that are observed like Sabbath (except that one may cook on an existing flame, and carry in public areas). In Israel, Passover is only 7 days, and only the 1st and 7th day are Yamim Tovim. The in-between days are known as Chol HaMoed – weekdays of the festival.

This Treat was originally posted on April 7, 2009.

Copyright © 2011 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

Grilled Nicoise Salad
April 21, 2011 – 10:49 am
Grilled Nicoise Salad

I love Passover and the relaxed pace of the holiday. It is a great time to visit with family and friends. It is also a week long food fest. It seems as though all we do is EAT. This light supper salad is easy on the waistline while still very satisfying and delicious.

A Poet and A Martyr
April 21, 2011 – 3:05 am
A Poet and A Martyr

Hannah Senesh (Szenes) was born in Budapest, Hungary, to an assimilated, middle-class family. An avid diarist from the age of 13 until her death, Hannah maintained a personal journal that reflected the literary talent she had inherited from her father, Bela, a playwright who died when she was six.

Sarah and Zack
April 20, 2011 – 9:24 am | 4 Comments
Sarah and Zack

“A second date turned into a third, the third led to the fourth… and when Sarah least expected it, Zack leaned over and for the first time said, ‘I love you’.”

Is it okay to date a man who is not yet divorced?
April 20, 2011 – 7:51 am | 3 Comments
Is it okay to date a man who is not yet divorced?

A person who has just separated shouldn’t even think about having a date for the first 6 months after the separation. And ideally, he would wait a year. So, I think you were absolutely right to feel leery. Any person who is jumping into the dating field immediately after a separation is either running away from his feelings, or is too insecure or co-dependent to know how to be alone. And either way, that makes him not a good candidate for you.

Cindy and Ira
April 19, 2011 – 9:28 am | 7 Comments
Cindy and Ira

“The night we met was so magical that, when we sat down at the same bar six months later, the bartender remembered us from the night we met; I guess he saw the sparks fly, too!”

The Film That Launched a Thousand Court Cases
April 18, 2011 – 3:33 pm | One Comment
The Film That Launched a Thousand Court Cases

The Ten Commandments is “one of the most significant epic films ever made,” in part because it tapped into America’s Cold War self-perceptions, according to Loren P.Q. Baybrook, editor-in-chief of Film & History. The movie was “a declaration from Hollywood that American values, as opposed to Soviet values, were part of the longest history of moral principle,” says Baybrook, noting that its success was due, in no small part, to the way it artfully Christianized the film’s religious content. DeMille, whose German-Jewish mother converted before marrying his Episcopalian father, cleverly used the term “Hebrews” instead of “Jews” in order to appeal to his largely Christian audience.

Can You Count To 49?
April 18, 2011 – 3:05 am
Can You Count To 49?

There is a Biblical commandment (Leviticus 23:15) to count the 49 days that immediately follow the first night of Passover and, on the 50th night, to celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. This period of time is called Sefirat Ha’omer, the Counting of the Omer, because the counting begins on the night before the barley offering (omer) was brought to the Temple, which was on the second day of Passover.

Fast of the Firstborn
April 17, 2011 – 3:05 am
Fast of the Firstborn

There has always been a lot of pressure on firstborn children, as they were often expected to care for the family property or business in order to ensure stability within the community. Even in modern society, the firstborn usually receives the most attention, the most responsibility and the most mistakes.

Friendly New Spirits for All The Single Ladies
April 15, 2011 – 8:51 am | One Comment
Friendly New Spirits for All The Single Ladies

Ladies are the new face in the premium spirits landscape. Nuvo Sparkling Liqueur, the pink bubbly and popular nightclub elixir from Paris, just signed on Eva Longoria as a spokesperson while the folks at Diageo, who have whipped up a Godiva® vodka blend to satisfy our chocolate cravings, are running how-to-commercials, transforming female Do it Yourselfers into mixology goddesses. So what are the best brands you need to know about? Here they are in no special order of taste or preference:

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