Sephardi Shavuot Customs and Poetry

June 10 2016

The holiday of Shavuot, which begins Saturday night, celebrates the beginning of the harvest season as well as the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Since the Middle Ages, Jews from Spain and their descendants have marked the holiday by reciting intricate liturgical poems as part of the synagogue service, including a special class of poem called azharot (literally, “warnings” or “commandments”), which list the 613 commandments that, according to rabbinic tradition, are found in the Torah. Ty Alhadeff writes (2015):

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Read more at Stroum Center for Jewish Studies

More about: Israel Najara, Maimonides, Piyyut, Religion & Holidays, Sephardim, Shavuot, Solomon ibn Gabirol

What Palestinians Want

July 10 2020

In an extensive report on a major survey of Palestinian public opinion, David Pollock sums up his key findings. Above all, the results suggest that large numbers of Palestinians are willing to make compromises with Israel in the short term, but tend to harbor maximalist, even militant, long-term goals:

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Palestinian public opinion, Palestinians, Two-State Solution