Sunday, June 29, 2014

FIFA, el Mundial e Israel



Mi Enfoque #508, Junio 18, 2014, por David Mandel, enfoque@netvision.net.il


Entre los 32 países que están jugando el Mundial en Brasil no está Israel. La única vez que Israel participó fue en Méjico, en 1970, donde se clasificó en el puesto 12 de 16 equipos. Esto sucedió tres meses antes de que yo y mi familia hiciéramos alía. Desde entonces Israel nunca logró calificarse, aunque estoy seguro de que eso no tiene ninguna relación con mi llegada.

Aunque Israel no está jugando en Brasil, varias compañías israelíes están presentes. Por ejemplo, Ceragon, una compañía de Tel Aviv, ha ayudado a Brasil con la infraestructura inalámbrica de las comunicaciones para el Mundial.


La compañía de seguridad Risco, de Rishon Lezion es responsable por la seguridad del estadio en la ciudad de Cuiaba.

Elbit provee a la Fuerza Aérea brasileña de aviones no tripulados Hermes 900 que, situados 10.000 metros sobre los estadios, proveen de inteligencia a las fuerzas de seguridad.

La compañía Nice de Raanana ha sido contratada por una ciudad brasileña para instalar un sistema de video en el estadio, los hoteles, las carreteras, el aeropuerto y otros lugares.

Respecto a la FIFA, hoy envuelta en un escándalo de soborno por Qatar, esta organización, a pedido de los palestinos, ha amenazado expulsar a Israel sino mejora las restricciones de viaje de los jugadores palestinos cuando desean viajar al extranjero.

Israel contestó que los jugadores y funcionarios del equipo no tienen problema para viajar entre Gaza y la Cisjordania.

Un reciente incidente demuestra que las medidas de seguridad israelí no se basan sólo en paranoia. Un jugador del equipo palestino, Samah Maraabeh, ha sido arrestado por aprovechar su viaje al extranjero para contactar a un miembro de Hamás y recibir instrucciones para pasarlas a la gente de Hamás en Kalkilia, una ciudad palestina vecina de Kfar Sabah.

Ni FIFA ni los palestinos han comentado al respecto.

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Travel Argentina

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Acto por los 20 años del atentado a la AMIA en Miami



Limud Buenos Aires 6 de julio de 2014


Limud Buenos Aires 2014 tendrá lugar el 6 de julio en la Universidad Maimónides, Hidalgo 775, Buenos Aires.

Con la participación de Roberto Moldavsky, Pedro Saborido y Marcelo Benveniste, entre otros.

Nueva fecha de inscripción con descuento 29 de junio.

Más información sobre Limud BA 2014

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish travel Argentina

Monday, June 23, 2014

CAMPAÑA NACIONAL DE RECAUDACION DE MEDICAMENTOS 2014


10° Campaña Nacional de Recaudación de Medicamentos
Del 22 al 29 de junio de 2014

Para donar, contactate con Fundación Tzedaká: 0-800-222-REFUOT
refuot@tzedaka.org.ar
www.tzedaka.org.ar

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage trips to Argentina

Viaje a través del Holocausto: Muestra internacional de afiches en el SHA

Desde el 23 de junio, hasta el 10 de julio de 2014 en el hall de entrada de la sede de Hebraica (Sarmiento 2233, Buenos Aires) el Museo del Holocausto Buenos Aires, junto a la institución anfitriona, organizan la muestra “Viaje a través del Holocausto”, que ofrece una exposición internacional de afiches.

Las piezas expuestas son el resultado del concurso de posters apoyado por la ex ITF (La Alianza), conformada por Yad Vashem, el Centro Cultural Judío de Londres, el Instituto del Legado Judeo-Europeo (de República Checa) y el programa del Departamento de Información Pública de la ONU.
Durante el certamen, fueron elegidos 16 trabajos, entre cientos que participaron, a fin de exponer los más representativos.

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage trips to Argentina

Presentación del documental "La otra dignidad" en AMIA

El martes 24 de junio de 2014 a las 18.30hs. en el auditorio AMIA (Pasteur 633 –Buenos Aires), será presentado el documental “La otra dignidad”, realizado por Martha Wolff y Dany Salzman.

El documental cuenta la historia de un argentino judeo-sefaradí que siendo un niño vio una película sobre Simón Wiesenthal-el cazador de nazis- y a partir de ese momento soñó ser como él.
Ese niño se fue formando como judío y estudiando en la Escuela de Policía donde se graduó. A través de los años enfrentó situaciones difíciles, pero el destino le dio la oportunidad de hacer de su sueño realidad cuando ocupaba el cargo de Director de Interpol Argentina en el año 2005, al solicitarle Interpol Internacional la captura del nazi Paul Schäfer Schneider, ex ideólogo y director de la “Colonia Dignidad” en el sur de Chile.

Este documental trata de un policía que mide con la misma vara lo indigno de aquellos que atacan a la sociedad sea quien sea como hombre apasionado por la Justicia.

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage trips to Argentina



Saturday, June 21, 2014

Jewish demonstrators protest Argentina-Iran World Cup 2014 game


SAO PAULO, Brazil — Dozens of Jewish demonstrators gathered for a minute of silence Saturday before the Argentina-Iran World Cup game, demanding justice for a still unsolved bombing attack against a Buenos Aires Jewish center 20 years ago that left 85 dead and for which Iran has been blamed

Demonstrators wore black T-shirts marking the event and held banners reading slogans such as “20 years without justice” and “a red card for lack of justice.” They recited the names of the 85 victims of the bombing against the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association, AMIA for short, and then held their heads in silence at 12:59 — exactly one minute before Argentina and Iran kicked off their Group F match in Belo Horizonte.


An Argentinian prosecutor has blamed Iran and its Hezbollah proxy for the attack and Jewish groups are outraged no one has been brought to justice for the worst terrorist attack in Argentine history.

Organizer Dov Bigio said Jewish groups had asked FIFA to hold an official moment of silence before the game to mark the July 18, 1994, attack but did not hear back. Instead, they decided to hold the Facebook-organized vigil in front of the Sao Paulo Museum of Art.

They waved flags of Israel, and one even played its anthem on a violin.

Bigio said similar protests were being held in Rio de Janeiro and at the stadium itself in Belo Horizonte.

“This is a great opportunity to express our need for justice. This is a chance to remind people what happened,” said Bigio, 38. “We wanted to pay homage to the victims who can’t be here today.”

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman last year released a 500-page indictment that accuses Iran and Hezbollah of organizing the attack and continuing to establish cells across South America to launder money and commit acts of terror.

Iran denies any involvement in the bombing, and rejected Nisman’s indictment as a Zionist conspiracy theory. There is no indication that Iran will ever allow suspects in the attack to be extradited from the country. The Iranian suspects have spent years on Interpol lists, without being apprehended.

Just last month, a federal court in Argentina blocked a joint “truth commission” the Argentine government set up with Iran to investigate attack.

Earlier this month, the World Jewish Congress had called on the FIFA world soccer association to hold a tribute to the victims of the bombing before the match.

A letter sent to FIFA President Joseph Blatter called for a moment of silence for the victims.

Six Iranians are wanted by Interpol in connection with the bombing, including Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi. Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman also has presented evidence that Iran has infiltrated several South American countries through the installation of intelligence cells.

Source: AP, JTA, The Times of Israel

Posted by Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage travel Argentina


Friday, June 20, 2014

Pacho O'Donnell es el nuevo presidente de la Asociación Cultural y Científica Argentino-Israelí


La Asociación Cultural y Científica Argentino-Israelí renueva sus autoridades y toma nuevo impulso. El Dr. Mario Pacho O`Donnell, reconocido intelectual Argentino quien entre otros cargos públicos se desempeñara como secretario de Cultura de la Nación fue presentado por la embajadora Dorit Shavit como el flamante nuevo presidente en una recepción privada en su residencia.

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage travel in Argentina

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Che, Argentina's new travel magazine

Argentina’s tourism board recently launched a glossy publication called Che. No, it’s not a tome dedicated to the country’s famous revolutionary leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara. It is a cultural magazine titled after the Argentine colloquial term “che” (which loosely translates to “hey”) commonly used in Latin America to refer to all things Argentine. Its pages feature the best art, music, gastronomy, events, and travel experiences from the country’s 24 provinces. Through colorful photography and engaging storytelling, Che inspires visitors to journey beyond the borders of Buenos Aires and discover a country that’s richly diverse in landscapes, customs and cuisine. The bimonthly magazine is published in English, Spanish and Portuguese and travelers can download issues to their tablets by visiting Argentina.travel or getting the free app at Android and Apple stores.
Nora Walsh is Travel + Leisure's Latin America correspondent.
Photo courtesy of INPROTUR

Posted by Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage trips to Argentina

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mario Balotelli, futbolista judío estrella del Mundial 2014

Vaya historia la de Mario Balotelli, el jugador estrella del A:C: Milán de Italia de la Serie A de la Liga mejor pagada del mundo en salarios.

Judío por adopción de su inconmensurable madre, Silvia Balotelli que lo adoptó junto con Francesco su papá y que desde los tres años le han entregado su amor, su comprensión y su vida misma.

Italiano de ascendencia Ganhesa y nacido  el 12 de agosto de 1990 y ahora con 23 años gana solamente 4.5 millones de Euros anuales.

Sus padres biológicos son Thomas y Rose Barwuch y tiene hermanos que son Enoda, Abigail y Angel.

Forma parte de la Selección Nacional de Italia y se ha convertido en el jugador mas famoso del m omento por su carisma, calidad, goles y temperamento.

Con una enfermedad de los intestinos que pudo ser mortal y la falta de los recursos  para atenderlo y mantenerlo  fue menester en 1993 darlo en adopción  a los Balotelli, judíos Italianos con una corazón del tamaño del mundo y en un tribunal del Brescia se realizaron los trámites pertinentes y la ciudadanía la podía obtener a los 18.

Fue mejorando de su enfermedad y se recuperó totalmente hasta convertirse en un referente del Calcio y llegar a ser un ídolo para los tifosi (aficionados).

Promedia más de un gol por partido y en el Inter anotó 19 goles en 18 partidos y en el 2013 anotó 15 goles con Manchester City y con Milán donde juega.

Es diferente, es una estrella y crea envidia y admiración  entre quienes lo rodean.

En la Confederaciones del 2013 en Brasil, le anotó a México el gol del triunfo para pasar a la otra ronda.

Super Mario, El Loco Blotelli, apodos que le han surgido, pero el demuestra en el campo y con acciones y  con un amor ilimitado a los suyos.

Goleador de la Copa Italiana y con su número 45, 1.88mts de alto y 87 kilos en 15 juegos lleva 8 goles, 3 asistencia y 92 disparos a gol.

En la Eurocopa del 2012 los Azurri batieron con 2 goles de Mario a los Alemanes y allí estaba su mamá que había ido a Auschwitz a visitar los campos al igual que la selección Italiana .y luego de los goles, corrió con Silvia, su madre, y le mostró todo su amor y  cariño y le dijo que todo lo hacía por allá pues le debía todo en la vida.
Dijo que ese momento ha sido el más feliz de su vida, el más emocionante, el más comprometedor y lo que más le ha llenado, el amor por su madre.

Mario es judío y ha sufrido de ataques racistas de periodistas y de desadaptados de la sociedad como el  periodista del Stormfront:

“Él es negro y JUDIO, y debe jugar para Israel y no para Italia” y añadió:

Ah, los Nazis y los judíos, nunca van a aprender a llevarse bien”

Esto  en alusión a los goles en la Euro frente a los germanos.

Tuvo una relación duradera con la modelo Italiana Raffaela Fico, que tuvo una hija de nombre Pia y ha de hacerse el ADN para constatar la veracidad de los hechos y responder si así es.

Ese viaje a Ucrania- Polonia de la Euro ha marcado la vida de Super Mario y por ende un comentarista de Israel del diario Yediot Ajronot  escribió:

El símbolo de compromiso que reúne la experiencia de la inmigración, la aceptación y el éxito”

Él ha hecho un homenaje en vida a su madre adoptiva, judía, Italiana, y que le dio la bienvenida a este niño que ha sabido crecer, vencer, convencer junto a una familia que sufrió el Holocausto con miembros de su familia.

El periodista judío es Yori Yanover, muy conocido y respetado.

Un Futbolista judío, un ser humano judío, un triunfador de la vida,  un agradecido de los acontecimientos en los que se ha visto envuelto, un ser rebelde, con un corazón del tamaño de un Estadio, temperamental, agresivo, amoroso, cariñoso y con unas facultades de primer nivel, con gran poder de convocatoria, un verdadero “Crack” de la vida y de quien hemos de aprender.

Silvia Balotelli,  Mario Balotelli, un ejemplo de vida, un amor encima de cualquier circunstancia, una manera de entender la vida, de aceptarla, de construirla y de sacar adelante con amor a quien tanto se ama.

El deporte y el amor enaltecen a la vida y a sus protagonistas.

Una  historia para aprender y llevar a la práctica y otra vez el deporte ilustra lo que el comportamiento humano puede lograr.

Fuente: Marcos Schwartzman Katz para diariojudio.com

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage trips to Argentina

Friday, June 13, 2014

El Dr. Baltasar Garzón y Diana Malamud el 2 de julio de 2014 en Bet-El



El miércoles 2 de julio de 2014, el Dr. Baltasar Garzón, jurista español y defensor de los DDHH y Diana Malamud, representante de Memoria Activa, conversarán sobre el libro "Ser Judío en los años setenta" de Daniel Goldman y Hernán Dobry.

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage trips to Argentina

AMIA bombing: FIFA urged to keep one minute's silence at Iran-Argentina soccer match


The Latin American branch of the World Jewish Congress is urging the international soccer governing body FIFA to keep one minute's silence in honor of the victims of the AMIA terrorist attack before the match between Argentina and Iran at the World Cup in Brazil.

In a letter sent to FIFA President Joseph Blatter, Latin American Jewish Congress President Jack Terpins pointed out that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the largest terrorist attack in the history of Latin America.

85 people were killed and hundreds wounded when a car bomb exploded in downtown Buenos Aires on 18 July 1994. Six Iranians are wanted by Interpol in connection with the bombing, including former Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi. Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman also has presented evidence that Iran has infiltrated several South American countries through the installation of intelligence cells.

In the letter to Blatter the Latin American Jewish Congress head says that “Many of the spectators and players of the matches are not old enough to be aware of the atrocity of this attack. We believe that it is for the youth and the sport to demonstrate that everyone should be against terrorism. We are sure that such an act of solidarity with the victims of terror will encourage the population of the two countries, as well as the entire world’s population, to see in football and the World Cup a true field of respect, tolerance and dialogue against terrorism and racism.”


The match between Iran and Argentina is scheduled for 21 June. There is also an initiative on Facebook by Brazilian youth to hold a moment silence for AMIA victims before the start of the match.

Posted by Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage trips to Argentina

Mundial de Brasil 2014: El CJM pidió ''un minuto de silencio'' en el partido entre Argentina e Irán.

El Congreso Judío Mundial le envió una carta al presidente de la FIFA, Joseph Blatter, en la cual se le pidió que se realice un minuto de silencio en homenaje a las víctimas del ataque terrorista a la AMIA en el año 1994, antes del inicio del partido que disputarán Argentina e Irán el próximo 21 de junio correspondiente al Mundial de Brasil. La carta, que fue enviada por el presidente de la sección Latinoamericana del Congreso Judío Mundial, el Brasileño Jack Terpins, junto con el vicepresidente, Saul Gilvich de Uruguay, no sólo destaca que el 18 de julio se cumplirán 20 años del atentado, sino que "ve una oportunidad única para que el deporte promueva la paz, el dialogo, y el respeto entre la gente y los distintos países. Nosotros creemos en la enorme influencia cultural y social que tiene la Copa Mundial de la FIFA alrededor del mundo y específicamente en América Latina, y por consiguiente sugerimos que la FIFA promueva, al inicio del partido, un momento de silencio en memoria de las victimas de el ataque". "Muchos de los espectadores y de los jugadores del Mundial son demasiado jóvenes para estar conscientes de las atrocidades del ataque. Nosotros creemos que la juventud y el deporte deben demostrar al mundo entero que todos deberíamos estar en contra del terrorismo. Estamos seguros que tal acto de solidaridad con las víctimas de este ataque terrorista estimulara a las poblaciones de ambos países, al igual que a la población mundial, a ver al futbol y al Mundial como un verdadero campo de respeto, tolerancia, y de dialogo en contra del terrorismo y del racismo", resalta el escrito.

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage trips to Argentina

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Um Rabino na Copa? Parece estranho, mas não é!

Entra em campo hoje o programa "Rabino na Copa" com o Rabino David Weitman. Uma websérie que usa o futebol como metáfora para transmitir valores e ensinamentos para nos transformar em seres humanos melhores. Serão, ao todo, 18 episódios que vão ao ar toda segunda-feira às 11 horas. Um craque da fé falando sobre futebol de um jeito que você nunca viu.

Assista aos 4 primeiros episódios! E veja, no final, um mini making off do programa!....



Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage trips to Argentina     

Argentine neo-Nazi group approved as political party by Judge Ariel Lijo

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — An ultranationalist organization led by Alejandro Biondini, an accused neo-Nazi, won legal approval as a registered political party.

Buenos Aires Judge Ariel Lijo granted the approval for Bandera Vecinal, or Local Flag, on Wednesday. The party, which is expected to participate in the 2015 presidential elections, had signed up the required 4,000 members.
The Jewish political umbrella DAIA said Biondini “has publicly and repeatedly supported the figure of Adolf Hitler and Nazism. DAIA reiterates its position to not legitimize as a political party those who justify hatred and encouraging violence against the Jewish community and others in our country.”
In 1988, Biondini led chants of “Death to traitors, cowards and Jews” at a gathering of extreme-right demonstrators in Buenos Aires. At the time, Biondini’s group was called the National Alert, reminiscent of the cry “Germany, awake!”
Three years later, a judge quashed his group’s request to register as the Workers’ Nationalist Socialist Party and use the swastika as its symbol.
In the 2011 elections, Biondini’s Social Alternative Party garnered just 0.19 percent of the vote. His previous party, New Triumph, was banned by Argentina’s Supreme Court in 2009.

Source JTA

Posted by Valeria Duek Jewish Heritage trips to Argentina

Pope Francis' World Cup 2014 Message Against Racism and Greed In Sports



By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has a message for the World Cup: Let football be a showcase for teamwork and solidarity, not an exhibition of racism and greed.

The Argentine-born, football-loving pope recorded a video message that will be broadcast on Brazilian television ahead of Thursday's opening match between Brazil and Croatia.

In it, Francis said football teaches three lessons that can promote peace and solidarity around the world: the need to train and work hard to reach goals, the importance of fair play and teamwork, and the need to respect and honor opponents.

"To win, we must overcome individualism, selfishness, all forms of racism, intolerance and manipulation of people," he said. He said being "greedy" in football, as in life, is an obstacle.

"Let nobody turn their back on society and feel excluded!" he said. "No to segregation! No to racism!"

It's unclear how Francis will keep track of Argentina's progress in the World Cup. He doesn't have a TV in the Vatican hotel room where he lives, though one could certainly be made available.

Francis, a lifelong fan of the Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo, has amassed an enormous collection of jerseys since his election and has met with many visiting teams.

Back in February, Francis joked that he might be tempted to root for Brazil after a visiting President Dilma Rousseff gave him a national team jersey signed by football great Pele and a ball signed by Ronaldo. Rousseff asked at the very least for neutrality.

In his message, Francis said he hoped the World Cup would be a "festival of solidarity between peoples."

"Sport is not only a form of entertainment, but also — and above all I would say — a tool to communicate values that promote the good that is in humans and help build a more peaceful and fraternal society," he said.

Source: HuffPost

Posted by Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage tours Buenos Aires Argentina

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ahead of World Cup 2014, Brazilian Jews Conduct First-of-Its-Kind Study on Identity

If you’re one of thousands of Jewish tourists planning on visiting the Jewish community of Brazil while you’re in the country for the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer, you might be wondering what to expect.

Are Brazilian Jews rich or poor? Religious or secular? Connected to or detached from Israel?

You’re not alone in wondering! Questions like these have long been on the minds of community members themselves.

In search of an answer, JDC has teamed up with Federação Israelita do Estado de Sao Paulo (FISEP) to carry out a first-of-its-kind study of current trends within Brazilian Jewry.

“We wanted to better know what Brazilian Jews thought about their identity so we commissioned a comprehensive study similar to others we carried out in a number of Jewish communities,” said Gabriel Milevsky, the CEO of the JCC Hebraica in Sao Paulo and JDC's representative in the country for more than 20 years.

About 900 Jews from Sao Paulo — the biggest community in the country — were asked 90 questions on a wide range of issues yielding a trove of interesting information.

"Brazilian Jews tend to be middle or upper class," said Milevsky, quoting the initial data.

The study found that about 70 percent are very proud of their institutions, which include the Hebraica — a sprawling community center replete with a soccer field, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a small shopping mall — and the Sociedade Beneficente Israelita Brasileira Hospital Albert Einstein, one of the country’s top medical facilities.

While these findings were more or less expected, others were more surprising.

“We’ve seen that over the past 10 years the number of religious members of the community has grown,” Milevsky said.

About 80 percent or respondents said they were secular or traditional. About 7 to 8 percent are observant Orthodox and another 6 percent Haredi — an increase from previous years.

Connection to Israel was strong across the board: More than 92 percent of those asked had been to Israel, some 50 percent said they had been there at least three times, and about 70 percent said they followed news on Israel and the Middle East.

Milevsky said data gathered during the study is still being analyzed and more findings are sure to follow.

While the study covered a wide range of issues, the Brazilian-Jewish respondents were not asked which team they supported in the World Cup.

“They probably won’t be supporting Argentina,” joked Milevsky.

Source: JDC
Posted by Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage tours in Argentina

Monday, June 9, 2014

Jewish Heritage trip to Argentina

Enjoy this opportunity to see Argentina in all its complexity through a uniquely Jewish lens. Among the highlights of this tour  you will visit the vibrant Buenos Aires, also having the opportunity to go an Estancia (ranch), taste Argentinian style BBQ called asado, and enjoy the gaucho skills show and folkloric dancing!

This trip is not only about visiting meaningful sites, but more about learning and diving into the History of the Jewish immigration to Argentina, deeply exploring the tragic episodes that dramatically changed the community and celebrating the active dynamic life of the Argentinean Jewish Community as it is today.

In 1882, the Congregacion Israelita de Buenos Aires held the first minyan. By the early 1900s, there were 100,000 Jewish immigrants in Argentina, mostly from Eastern Europe. The Jewish community in Argentina today is the largest in Latin America. Of a total population of 41.45 million people, about 240,000 are Jewish, the majority of which live in Buenos Aires. There are approximately 75 synagogues, 50 Jewish educational institutions, and 20 kosher restaurants in Buenos Aires.

Argentina is home to the largest Jewish community in Latin America. The so-called Jewish Heritage can be lived in big cities like Buenos Aires, but also in the country’s interior. In the Litoral Region, the charming circuit of the “Jewish Colonies” gives testimony of an unequaled agricultural colonization where you can find Jewish traces, flavors, sounds and traditions.

The biggest wave of Jewish immigration to Argentina took place in the late 1880's. In 1876, the Argentine government authorized the religious practice of the Jewish Rabbinate, thus promoting Jewish immigration. Since then, hundreds of immigrants arrived to our lands escaping from the persecution of the Czarist Russia. The Jewish Colonization Association –created by Baron Maurice Hirsch- made possible the Jewish colonization in Argentina. On the basis of an agricultural project developed for different provinces, mainly in the Litoral, it took place to the settlement of dozens of villages that comprised the so-called “Jewish Colonies” founded by women and men culturally known as the “Jewish Gauchos” (Jewish cowboys).

The Sephardic immigrants, on the other hand, came to Argentina by their own means at early XX century, mostly from the Ottoman Empire. They represent 25% of the Jewish community of Argentina. 

Buenos Aires City has the largest number of Jews and Jewish institutions in the country: it is the sixth city outside Israel in number of inhabitants of such origin. 

Even though there are three traditional Jewish neighborhoods in Buenos Aires such as Once, Flores and Barracas, nowadays Jews are spread all over the city, and the same situation applies to the synagogues, schools, Jewish cultural centers, Kosher restaurants, supermarkets and bakeries. In the city, you may visit the Buenos Aires Jewish Museum, the Synagogue of the Israelite Congregation of the Argentinean Republic –known as Templo Libertad- the Israeli Mutual Association in Argentina (AMIA), the Great Temple of Paso street, the Argentine Hebraic Society, the Holocaust Museum, the House of Anne Frank, the Latin America Rabbinical Seminar, among other institutions.

 In Buenos Aires, you will find the first Kosher McDonald's outside of Israel. 

All year long, there are special activities, artistic festivals, sport competitions and celebrations related to Judaism. Since 2004, the AMIA organizes Art Exhibitions with the purpose of sharing a selection of works of its best artists –not only the great acknowledged masters but also the young talents. There are other annual events like the Jewish Film International Festival, Dalia Festival (Rikudim), the Jewish Book Fair, celebrations for Hanukkah in the main squares in Buenos Aires, Maccabiah Games organized by the Argentine Federation of Maccabiah Community Centers (FACCMA).

Diplomatic relationships between Argentina and Israel

Argentina established diplomatic relationships with Israel in 1950, during the administration of President Juan D. Perón. 

In 1951 Evita Perón and Golda Meir met in Buenos Aires.

In 1960, Adolph Eichmann was captured by the Mossad at 6067 Garibaldi Street in San Fernando, a suburb of  Buenos Aires. The operation to capture Eichmann was timed close to the independence festivities of Argentina, which made it possible for the Mossad to fly Eichmann out to Israel in an El Al plane less than two days later. That was the only time that an El Al aircraft ever landed in Argentina. 

Other Israeli personalities visited Argentina, such as David Ben Gurion and Abba Eban. 

Terrorist attacks
The most shocking events to have affected Jewish life in Argentina took place in the early 1990s when the community was the target of the country’s two largest terrorist attacks of the last century.

On March 17, 1992 a suicide bomber drove a pickup truck loaded with explosives into the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, completely destroying it and other buildings nearby. Overall, 29 people were killed and hundreds were injured. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing and stated that it was in retaliation for the assassination of Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayed Abbas al-Musawi. When evidence emerged in 1998 suggesting that Iran orchestrated the attack, arrest warrants were issued for six Iranian diplomats who promptly left Argentina.

Then, two years later, in July 1994, a truck loaded with explosives drove into the seven-story AMIA building (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association), a focal point of the Jewish community in Buenos Aires. Eighty-five, mostly Jewish people died and around 300 were injured.

Although the government and society at large demonstrated its support for the Jewish community in the aftermath of these events, no one has ever been held responsible for the crimes. 



Jewish community and Human Rights

Rabbi Marshall Meyer was an ordinary man whose extraordinary convictions, faith, and impetuous personality impelled him to become one of the most important human rights activists during Argentina’s Dirty War, also known as El Proceso (1976-1983). 

He arrived in Argentina in 1959 from New York hired by the Israelite Congregation of the Argentinean Republic to organize the Ramah Department. Two years later he quit to found his own Congregation, Bet-El and the Latin America Rabbinical Seminar in 1962. 

Meyer’s activities thrust him into national prominence. In 1984, he was one of two Jews appointed by then-President Raul Alfonsin to a 16-member government investigative body (CONADEP) that looked into the disappearances and provided evidence at the military leaders’ trials. 

Rabbi Meyer called the final report of the CONADEP’s Commission “Never Again” (Nunca Más) after Masada. 

The Nunca Más report is a bestseller in Argentina and has been constantly in print since 1984.

Interfaith relationships in Argentina
The most powerful symbol of nowadays interfaith relationships between the Catholicism and Judaism in Argentina is the friendship between former Cardinal Bergoglio, the current Pope Francis and the Rabbi Abraham Skorka.

One of the first things Argentinian native Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio did after being elected pope on March 13 was to send a message of friendship to Rome's chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni -- and, by extension, the Jewish people.
This includes the world Jewish community, where he has garnered accolades for his positive history with the Argentine Jewish community.

Francis' outreach to Jews also comes as no surprise for those who had followed his career as Cardinal Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, where he celebrated various Jewish holidays with the Argentine Jewish community, including Chanukah, where he lit a candle on the menorah, attended a Buenos Aires synagogue for Slichot, a pre-Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) service, as well as a commemoration of Kristallnacht, the wave of violent Nazi attacks against Jews before World War II.
He also expressed strong solidarity with Argentina's Jewish community following the deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center. In 2010, during a commemoration of the tragedy, Cardinal Bergoglio called the site "a house of solidarity."

Throughout the trip, every visitor will have powerful first-hand encounters with the people who are working every day to ensure the vibrancy of Jewish life and Jewish community in Argentina.

Jewish Heritage trip to Argentina. Trips to warm your soul.

For more information about itineraries and pricing, contact info@kosherlat.com

Posted by Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage tours in Argentina


Coloquio: Huellas del Judaísmo Centroeuropeo en América Latina


Huellas del Judaísmo Centroeuropeo en América Latina
18 de junio de 2014 - 18hs - Biblioteca del Seminario

Homenaje a la obra y la memoria de los inmigrantes centroeuropeos exiliados en América Latina, su aporte al judaísmo latinoamericano y la creación de las comunidades judías de habla alemana en nuestro continente

Por favor confirmar inscripción a centroweil@seminariorabinico.org.ar

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish tours Buenos Aires Argentina

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jewish soccer fans to connect at Brazil World Cup 2014

Mariano Schlez and his wife Paola Salem of Buenos Aires are organizing a series of special activities for Jews attending the World Cup, which is expected to attract more than 1.5 million people to a dozen cities across Brazil during the global soccer tournament, from June 12-July 13.

Among them, thousands of Jewish soccer fans from many nations including Israel are expected.

Mariano, a physical education teacher who works with Jewish children through local chapters of World ORT and the Maccabi sports organization, and Paola, who operates a new company called Judaic Tourism (www.judaictourism.com), saw the World Cup as a once-in-a-lifetime sports event – and a powerful way to engage Jews from around the world in Latin America.

"If even 1% of all the visitors to the World Cup are Jewish, this will be an incredible opportunity to connect each other," said Mariano.

With the support of the Schusterman Foundation and its #MakeitHappen microgrant program, Mariano and Paola formed "Jewish Connect at the World Cup 2014." The group, on Facebook and Twitter as Jewish Football Fans (Judíos fanáticos del Fútbol in Spanish and Metailim Israelim vamundial in Hebrew), shares information about World Cup venues, while creating a meeting place for ticket seekers, host families, medical care and more.

But beyond acting as an online soccer fan meeting place, the group also details local Shabbat candle-lighting times, places to secure kosher food, synagogues, community centers, Jewish attractions, and details about special Jewish events the group is organizing for the World Cup, Mariano said.

"Jewish Connect at the World Cup" also aims to summon volunteers from Jewish communities in all the Brazilian World Cup venues to form "committees of young Jewish sports enthusiasts," who will act as "connectors" for visiting Jews, Mariano said.

From Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo, from Belo Horizonte to Fortaleza, Manaus, Recife and Porto Alegre, these local Jewish groups will help organize activities like Shabbat celebrations dinners, pickup soccer games, beach soccer matches with Havdalah ceremonies, and more.

"This is a big challenge, it’s never happened before," Mariano added. "The idea is not only to participate in cool events, but also to strengthen Jewish identity by getting to know the local Jewish communities in Brazil and to connect with Brazilian Jews and Jewish travelers from around the world in a fun setting."

Those planning to travel to Brazil for the World Cup who want a special Jewish experience and want to participate in these special events are encouraged to contact the group.

Source: Ynet

Posted by Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish Heritage tours Buenos Aires Argentina

Friday, June 6, 2014

Entrepreneurs of Argentina look to learn from Israeli success

Israel’s latest export to South America is the high-tech incubator, and it’s proven a very popular item in Argentina, said Ryan Fain, director of HiLabs, a tech incubator run by Hillel Argentina. HiLabs took applications for its latest program in Israel – a two-month learning and working experience for students interested in becoming entrepreneurs – for a total of ten days, after which it had to stop accepting requests to be part of the program. “We already had 300 applications for 30 spots,” said Fain. “It was much more popular than we anticipated.”

Argentina’s economy is down in the dumps; the peso has lost 20% of its value against the dollar in just two months, and inflation could reach as much as 30% this year. What the country needs is a good shot of entrepreneurship, said Fain, and in its small way, HiLabs is trying to bring the message of the Start-Up Nation to the South American country’s 200,000 Jews.

HiLabs, located in Buenos Aires, aims to duplicate as much as possible the vibe of an Israeli start-up incubator, giving participants the tools and mentorship they need to develop applications and technologies to build businesses. For inspiration, the program brings participants to Israel, where they spend time working as interns at high-tech companies, as well as study entrepreneurship skills in the Lahav program at Tel Aviv University’s Recanati School of Business. “They have a chance to meet successful entrepreneurs, asking questions and getting inspiration to develop their own ideas,” said Fain.

While Fain expects most program participants to return to Argentina, not all do – and Fain is fine with that. “We also want them to see what it is like to live and work in Israel, to get to know people here.” The program is now in its second round, and about a quarter of the participants from both this and last year’s group decided to stay in Israel, Fain said.

For those who go back, applying the lessons they learned in Israel represents a challenge. “Argentina is not really a society of start-ups and entrepreneurship,” said Fain. “Here, the participants will speak to an entrepreneur who will tell them he ‘only’ raised $500,000 for his start-up, which as an Israeli he considers a small amount. But in Argentina, getting $500,000 for a new business is a major accomplishment.” HiLabs has been in contact with the Argentinian government, which has expressed interest in the program and, said Fain, is intent on expanding entrepreneurship among the country’s young people.

Fain, a 26 year old from Argentina, is no stranger to social entrepreneurship. He was a founder of an organization called Dar Es Dar (“To Give is To Give”), a social service group which works with disadvantaged groups to alleviate poverty and hunger in Argentina. Over the past seven years, Fain has recruited more than 300 volunteers, including pediatricians, social workers, and teachers, and developed a breakfast program to help feed children under age five who do not get enough to eat at home.

Although the United States is closer, Israel offers a better role model for entrepreneurs, said Fain. “In the US, the market is large enough to allow developers to concentrate on serving local needs, and often they do just that. But in Argentina, the local market is not developed or sophisticated enough to justify a major effort to develop services for the local market. The best option for entrepreneurs here is to think global.” In Israel, too, entrepreneurs are forced to think globally and concentrate on exports, because the local market is too small to earn serious money.

The Argentine government knows it needs to do something to foster innovation, and Fain has been in touch with government officials, who were very positive about the program. “Just like the entrepreneurs we bring over, Argentina could learn a lot from the Israeli way of doing things in the tech sphere,” said Fain. “Exporting its incubator management ideas could be a new growth area for Israel, in Argentina and elsewhere in South America.”

Source: David Shamah for Times of Israel

Posted by Valeria Duek Kosherlat

HiLabs: Dan Harkabi, el creador del pen drive, en la Universidad de Palermo


Dan Harkabi, el creador del pen drive
Universidad de Palermo
Aula Magna
11 de junio de 2014
Dirección: Mario Bravo 1050, Buenos Aires.

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish tours Buenos Aires Argentina

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A 47 años de la Guerra de los Seis Días

Por Rafael Arazi desde Israel

47 años 
Esta semana se cumplen 47 años de aquel memorable acontecimiento  registrado en los anales de la historia moderna, como  la “Guerra de los Seis Días”. Casi la mitad de un siglo ha transcurrido desde aquella semana dramática en la historia de un país,  que acababa de  cumplir sólo 19 años de vida independiente. Tres semanas antes del  comienzo de las acciones bélicas, Egipto, Siria y Jordania, con el apoyo de Irak, anunciaron que abrirían una campaña militar que culminaría con la destrucción total de Israel. Al otro lado de la frontera, el gobierno israelí que escuchaba las amenazas con extrema atención y seriedad,  decidió declarar el estado de alerta máxima. Israel con las espaldas al mar,  se veía  amenazado desde tres de sus cuatro fronteras. La pregunta era  en aquellos días, cual podría ser  la razón de ese odio feroz y de aquellas ansias de guerra?  Israel no ocupaba  un solo centímetro  del territorio de aquellos  países árabes.  Una terrible y obscura sombra negra,  se iba extendiendo sobre el país y  una gran aprensión  se adueñó de la mayoría de la población, temerosa de  que se podrían  repetir las terribles secuencias de un nuevo holocausto.

El gobierno del primer ministro Levy Eshkol, a la vez que tomaba las medidas militares pertinentes, ordenó también cavar  70 mil fosas en parques y bosques aledaños a las grandes ciudades, con el fin de enterrar allí a las eventuales victimas de la confrontación. Esa era la  magnitud de  lo que  se presentía, podría  ser el resultado de una guerra total con los ejércitos  árabes.  Los ejércitos de Egipto, Siria e Irak, estaban pertrechados con las más modernas y mortíferas armas soviéticas de la época.  Tres millones de israelíes, almacenaban alimentos, cavaban trincheras, construían murallas defensivas con bolsas de arena alrededor de sus  casas, de   hospitales y de edificios públicos. Todos los hombres y mujeres en edades de entre 21 y 54 años alistados en la reserva,  fueron movilizados. Los jóvenes de secundaria y preparatoria, fueron instruidos como ayudantes de enfermería, ocupando también,  lugares de trabajo de máxima importancia, abandonados por sus mayores  reclutados al servicio activo. Miles de autobuses, camiones y hasta automóviles particulares, fueron incautados por el ministerio de Defensa, para cubrir las necesidades inmediatas del ejército. El trabajo agrícola y la actividad industrial, quedaron  prácticamente semi paralizados. Nasser arrojó por la borda todos los acuerdos internacionales que había firmado y  exigió además, la evacuación de las fuerzas de seguridad apostadas por la ONU en la frontera de Sinaí. El mundo diplomático, caminaba  a paso de tortuga  empantanándose cada vez más en   arduas y estériles discusiones, en lugar de  tomar una firme posición que defendiera a Israel de las intenciones genocidas de sus  potenciales  agresores. El 5 de junio de 1967, el gobierno israelí decidió enviar a Tzahal a librar lo que se pensaba, iba a ser una nueva edición aumentada y agravada,  de lo que fuera la guerra de Independencia. El resultado es hoy hartamente conocido. En el término de seis días de intensos combates en todos los frentes, la amenaza y el eminente peligro de destrucción, fueron  alejados de las fronteras israelíes.

El total del territorio conquistado por Tzahal, desde Sinaí hasta el Canal de Suez. La Ribera Occidental, la ciudad antigua de Jerusalem  y las alturas del Golán, era tres veces mayor que  todo su  territorio en vísperas de la guerra. Mientras los israelíes tomaban  un respiro de alivio,  captaban la real magnitud del acontecimiento y festejaban su triunfo, el pueblo judío en el mundo,  elevaba sus oraciones en acción de gracias. El mundo entero observaba estupefacto e incrédulo, la nueva realidad  que se había gestado  ante sus ojos en el Medio Oriente. Levy Eshkol anunció la  anexión y reunificación de la ciudad de Jerusalem. Pero aseguró  que el resto de  los territorios conquistados, serian  mantenidos en prenda,  hasta  ser canjeados por acuerdos de paz con cada uno de los países árabes involucrados. En tanto, el pequeño estado hebreo se había transformado en seis días, en una fuerza militar con capacidad demoledora, que todos y cada uno debería tomar muy en cuenta en la región. Los líderes árabes y sus hermanos palestinos  reunidos  en Sudan,  decidieron entonces adoptar, la resolución de las “tres negativas”.  No reconocimiento, No negociación y No paz con Israel. Como consecuencia de la intransigente posición árabe, a mediados de los años 70, lo que comenzó como una titubeante iniciativa se fue convirtiendo con los años, en un gran  proyecto  de colonización en  los  territorios  ocupados. O los “liberados y redimidos”, como los llaman  algunos. La  Eretz Israel bíblica en manos judías se convertía  de repente en realidad. Para algunos israelíes, la mano divina habría sido determinante en lo ocurrido y por eso había que obedecer su designio. A lo largo de los años,  Israel se enfrentó y tuvo que sobreponerse a otras guerras, así como  a un sinnúmero de terribles actos de terrorismo dentro y fuera de su territorio. Pero  cuando las condiciones políticas fueron  propicias,  firmo acuerdos de paz con Egipto y Jordania, evacuando todos sus territorios.  Sin los países árabes de por medio,  palestinos e israelíes quedaron nuevamente solos en la escena volviendo a las  primigenias raíces del conflicto. El choque de dos movimientos de liberación nacional, enfrentados  por un  mismo trozo de tierra en Eretz Israel. En 1993, Israel firmó con los palestinos los acuerdos de Oslo, basados en el mutuo reconocimiento. Se estableció por primera vez en la historia en parte de Judea y Samaria, una Autoridad Palestina autónoma.

En 2005 el gobierno de Ariel Sharon evacuó  de manera unilateral, todos los asentamientos israelíes de la Franja de Gaza, luego de ser sofocada   la Segunda Intifada, que costara la vida a más de mil civiles y dejara a cinco mil israelíes heridos. A la par, fue construida una alta muralla divisoria de cemento, con el fin de detener la infiltración de terroristas suicidas provenientes de la Rivera Occidental. En perspectiva histórica, podría afirmarse que si bien la Guerra de los Seis Días, fue  como una segunda guerra de liberación para Israel, esta  agudizó aun mas  el conflicto entre judíos y  palestinos. La expansión territorial sobre Judea y Samaria, significó el dominio directo israelí  sobre una gran población hostil. Pero hoy, los palestinos gobiernan  a más del  90% del total de su población. Para los  que se oponen a un  estado palestino y pretenden  un  Israel que se extienda  desde el Mediterráneo hasta el río Jordan, su empresa colonizadora no se ha detenido  un solo día. Cada acto de terror, fue contestado siempre con  una “respuesta sionista”. La creación de un nuevo asentamiento. Lo que va convirtiendo en cada vez menos factible, una separación viable entre los dos pueblos. La colonización en Judea y Samaria ha continuado así, su implacable  marcha. En ella se han invertido  miles de millones de shekels. Sin proporción alguna a lo invertido en otras  zonas mas postergadas de Israel. Sumado a su alto costo económico, la colonización  ha repercutido negativamente sobre muchos aspectos sociales y morales de la sociedad israelí. Daño que seria  imposible de cuantificar. La política de colonización se ha hecho siempre, con el respaldo de todos los  gobiernos de turno. De derecha o de izquierda. Hoy  viven en Judea y Samaria esparcidos en 117 ciudades,  aldeas agrícolas y  comunidades,  mas de 370 mil israelíes, que ocupan el 9.1% del total de ese territorio. Además, 250 mil israelíes, residen en los  nuevos barrios construidos al este y al sur de  Jerusalem. En conjunto,  representan el 10% del total de la  población judía del país. Si sumáramos el millón y medio de árabes ciudadanos de Israel, a los palestinos, habitan hoy en esta estrecha franja  de tierra que corre  entre el Mediterráneo  y el río Jordan,  seis millones doscientos mil judíos  y algo más de 5 millones de palestinos. Los unos y los otros conforman juntos un enjambre humano muy volátil y  explosivo, que la simple lógica recomendaría separar en dos estados. Hecho que por otro lado, aseguraría  el futuro de un estado de Israel con mayoría judía y la preservación de su democracia.

Pero la lógica no rige siempre en las mentes de israelíes y palestinos. Ambos siguen atrincherados y empantanados en sus posiciones y cada día que pasa, la situación se hace  más compleja y  difícil de resolver. Los extremistas de ambos bandos, son los que mas influyen por el momento, en la agenda del conflicto.  Todos los  gobiernos israelíes han expuesto condiciones extremas de seguridad ante los reclamos independentistas palestinos. Los palestinos por su parte, no han renunciado aun al  “retorno” de millones de refugiados a  territorio israelí. Exigen  la división de la  ciudad de Jerusalem en dos capitales, a la vez que se niegan   reconocer a Israel, como  estado nacional del pueblo judío. Hamas y otras organizaciones, aseguran que jamás abandonaran su lucha.  De aquí que  las  máximas concesiones y los altos riesgos que  estaría dispuesto a  tomar Israel, ni siquiera se acercan  a los mínimos reclamos irredentistas  palestinos. Esta semana, salieron a las calles de varias ciudades palestinas, miles de manifestantes islamistas bajo el lema, “maten a los  perros y cerdos judíos”. La televisión mostró  a cientos de niños vociferando  esas consignas de odio. Las imagines, seguramente produjeron repugnancia  y escalofríos  en mas de un israelí. Pero con esos niños de hoy,    habriá  que concertar  la paz de mañana. Esa es la joven generación palestina que tendría que  divisar en el horizonte, una alternativa de esperanza en sus vidas.  Toda otra alternativa seria  una quimera para ellos.  Durante los 47 años  transcurridos desde 1967, Israel ha librado muchas   batallas y en todas afortunadamente, ha salido airosa. La  más importante que aun no ha podido ganar, es la de la paz con los palestinos. La Autoridad Palestina   acaba de anunciar la constitución de un gobierno reunificado con  Hamas. El gobierno israelí ha condenado  el acuerdo, pero  resolvió no aplicar  sanciones económicas. EEUU, el aliado incondicional  de Israel, ha anunciado que le dará una oportunidad al nuevo gobierno palestino y que  examinará  su conducta. M. Abbas ha declarado que su nuevo gobierno respetará todos los compromisos  firmados con Israel y que continuará  la coordinación conjunta de las fuerzas de seguridad. El líder de Hamas por el contrario, ha declarado que su organización continuara sin tregua, la lucha contra Israel. Al  tiempo que proclamaba como “héroe” a un palestino que murió en el intento de matar a un soldado israelí,  su suegra era  internada en un hospital israelí para ser tratada de  un  cáncer avanzado.  Son algunas de las  contradicciones de los palestinos, entre lo que se dice y lo que se hace. Pero  es posible que estemos  a las puertas de un nuevo capitulo en la historia de este conflicto. Los palestinos se están moviendo y están tomando la iniciativa política. El gobierno de Netanyahu en cambio,  está enquistado en sus posiciones y encadenado a su estrategia. La cual  Occidente  parece ya no estar  dispuesto a respaldar sin objecion.  Dentro de seis meses, los palestinos irán a  elecciones generales. Si Hamas las ganara, el pueblo palestino habrá dicho su última palabra.  Esta misma semana, el corazón de un niño israelí de tres años, muerto ahogado en la piscina de su casa, fue implantado en el cuerpo de un niño árabe que sufría  de una aguda  insuficiencia cardiaca. Pocos saben de lo grande y generoso, que puede llegar a ser un  pequeño corazón judío.

Publicado por Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish tours Buenos Aires Argentina

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What is Shavuot?



SHAVUOT
The Holiday of Shavuot has four different names:
The Festival of Shavuot, Atzeret, Chag Ha Bikurim and Chag Ha Katzir.
1. The Festival of Shavuot(Weeks) Biblical ref: Exodus, 34:22; Deuteronomy 16- 9:11; Leviticus, 23:15.
During 210 years of Egyptian bondage, our forefathers descended to 49 levels of impurity. With the Exodus, G-d not only redeemed them from slavery, but from spiritual debasement as well. The 49 levels of degradation were taken over by 49 levels of elevation. With each day, our ancestors rose to new spiritual heights, counting 49 days, 7 full Weeks, until revelation took place and G-d proclaimed His commandments.
Every Jewish soul was present at Sinai, and every Jew declared “Na`asei V`nishma - We will do and we will listen...” As the Torah testifies, this Covenant is eternal: "Not with our forefathers alone did HaShem seal this covenant but with us - we who are here - all of us alive today" (Deuteronomy 5-3) - meaning all future generations are bound by this Covenant.
Shavuot can also be pronounced Shevuot, meaning “oaths” for at this time we recall the two oaths made at Sinai; one by G-d, declaring us His special, eternal people; the second taken by us, pledging our allegiance to G-d.
Interestingly, the prayer book refers to the holiday of Shavuot as “Zman Matan Toratenu - the season of the Giving of the Torah,” for indeed, that is the dominant theme of the festival. The Torah however, speaks of the Holiday of Weeks, teaching us that there can never be a season for the giving of the Torah. It is eternal and dominates every season, every week, every day, and every moment.

2. Atzeret
The Talmud refers to the holiday as “Atzeret - Concluding Festival”, for Shavuot is the culmination of Passover. G-d redeemed us from Egypt, not merely to secure our physical freedom, but to bring us to the heights of Sinai, so that we might become His witnesses here on earth.

3. Holiday of the First Fruits - Chag Ha Bikurim Biblical ref: Exodus 23. The first fruit harvest was celebrated by our ancestors at this time, and they would bring their newly ripened fruit to the Temple as an expression of thanksgiving.

4. The Festival of Harvest - Chag Ha Katzir Biblical ref: Exodus 23
This season marked the harvest of the wheat, the last grain harvest of the season.

CUSTOMS OF SHAVUOT
Tikun Leil Shavuot (Staying up the entire night of Shavuot) When HaShem was about to give the Torah to B`nei Yisroel, they had to be awakened by Moshe. To symbolically rectify that shortcoming, we stay up the entire night and learn Torah. We call this “tikkun” (fixing our mistakes). Thus the name, tikun leil Shavuot. These studies should include passages from the written and oral law as well as from the book of Zohar.
Dedicating the night of Shavuot to the Torah purifies and elevates one’s soul.
It is written that whoever does not sleep on this night and devotes himself to Torah study is assured of completing the year free from all harm.
It is the custom for fathers to begin teaching the Torah to their children on Shavuot since the Torah was given on that day.

Eating Dairy (Milchigs)
In keeping with the holiday, it is proper to serve dairy dishes (blintzes, cheese kreplach, etc. dipped in honey. This is symbolized in the verse: “Honey and milk are under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11) - honey and milk are being metaphors for the Torah. The dairy meal is served prior to the meat meal with at least one hour interval between the meals. “Chalav” the Hebrew word for milk or dairy has a gematria (numerical value) of forty (Ches=8, lamed=30, beis=2). Since Moshe Rabbenu spent forty days on Mt. Sinai, we eat dairy on Shavuot. Yet another reason is that since the laws of the Torah require ritual slaughter (shechita) and the B’nei Yisroel required new vessels for food preparation, preparing and eating meat would be very time consuming. Dairy food was more readily available.

Flowers and Greenery: Since Har Sinai - Mt. Sinai in the desert bloomed with flowers and trees, it is customary to decorate the synagogue and one’s home with greens and flowers.

The Poem of Akdamus: Recited the first day of Yom Tov. Akdamus means “Introduction”. The author, Rabbi Meir Ben Yitzchok, as the Rebbe of Rashi, praises the glory of HaShem before we read the Ten Commandments.

Akdamas: If all the skies were parchment, if all the sea was ink, if all the trees were quills, if all the people were scribes, still, there would not be enough parchment, ink, quills or people to praise the Torah of HaShem.
THE TORAH READING FOR THE FESTIVAL OF SHAVUOT IS TAKEN FROM THE BOOK OF EXODUS AND CONTAINS THE ACCOUNT OF THE GIVING OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
TEN COMMANDMENTS

On the second day of Shavuot (Thursday), Yizkor is recited in the synagogue for the souls of those who are no longer here. The Book of Ruth, written by the Prophet Samuel is also read. Ruth is the righteous convert who has become the historic role model for all those who seek G-d. She was rewarded with the ultimate gift - becoming the ancestress of David, King of Israel. The following is one of the most poignant passages from the Book of Ruth: “For wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people are my people, and your G-d is my G-d. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.”
The book of Psalms is also read on Shavuot, for it was on Shavuos that David, the author of the Book of Psalms was born and died.

THOUGHTS TO PONDER
Why was the Torah given on Mount Sinai? Why in the wilderness? What is the correlation between the parallel commandments...ie; the 1st: “I AM THE L-RD, YOUR G-D, and the 6th: “THOU SHALT NOT KILL?” etc.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wishing you a joyous Shavuot holiday
Chag Sameach!

Source: Hineni Heritage Center

Posted by Valeria Duek Kosherlat Jewish tours Buenos Aires Argentina