Celebrating Sukkot

A sukkah from inside. (From Wikimedia user Muu-karhu)
A sukkah from inside (via Wikimedia user Muu-karhu)

After the solemnity and introspection of the High Holy Days, Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, is always a treat. Like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, I look forward to Sukkot every year because this holiday, unlike Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is an unaltered celebration.  After the Exodus from Egypt, the ancient Jews traveled the wilderness for forty years before reaching the land of Israel. They lived in small huts called “sukkot” during this time. The holiday of Sukkot commemorates those temporary dwellings: Orthodox Jewish families build a small hut, or Sukkah, outside the house where they eat all meals for the seven days of the holiday. Many Orthodox Jews also sleep outdoors in the Sukkah. A typical Sukkah would look something like this:

(source)
(source)

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Yom Kippur: A Day of Atonement

Jews praying in the synagogue
Maurycy Gottlieb: Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, aka The Day of Atonement: this represents the time when Jews will have their fate decided. How much money will be earned for the year, what a person’s health will be, as well whatever is supposed to happen to a person in their life during the year.  People of course pray that everything that will happen should be good for the person.

I should note that on this occasion, the prayers are only directed between people and G-d, not between people and other people.  Any “offense” that take place between people is not covered by Yom Kippur.  The individuals involved need to ask for pardon from each other.

Yom Kippur is the end of this Holy time of year, which began with Rosh Hashanah.  This is a ten day period when forgiveness is asked from G-d as well as from “man”. As it says in the Liturgy, on Rosh Hashanah G-d writes down what will be and on Yom Kippur that decree is sealed.

This year, Yom Kippur will begin the evening of Tuesday, September 18th and conclude the evening of Wednesday, the 19th.

Contributed by: Edward Schabes, Library Assistant, Midtown

(Updated with 2018 dates and new picture.)

A Moving Rosh Hashanah Prayer

May Your New Year Be Sweetened with Happiness
(Image via Flickr; CC BY 2.0)

Rosh Hashanah, in Hebrew, means Head of the Year. It is one of Judaism’s holiest days and begins this year the night of Sunday, September 9th until the night of Tuesday, September 11th. There are many moving prayers and traditions designated for the High Holy days, but I would like to highlight one prayer that goes back to approximately the 10th or 11th century called U-Netaneh Tokef (“Let us tell the mighty holiness of this day”). Continue reading

Welcome Back to Bay Shore!

Librarians posing
Hello from your friendly librarians at Bay Shore:  from left to right, Heather, Annette, and Joan.

This fall will be a fresh start for many of our students at the Touro School of Health Sciences in Bay Shore. But whether you are a returning student or just starting out, please keep in mind that the library has many resources for you. We can assist you in learning how to locate books, find full-text articles, and conduct research. While on campus, you may benefit from our quiet study spaces, research computer center, and of course, your friendly librarians. Continue reading

The 17th of Tammuz and the Three Weeks

Destruction of Jerusalem by Ercole de' Roberti
The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans Under the Command of Titus, A.D. 70 (David Roberts)

This post was originally from 2014 and has been updated with this year’s dates.

Sunday, July 1st marks the beginning of the period known to Orthodox Jews everywhere as “the Three Weeks.” In the Hebrew calendar that date is the 17th of Tammuz, which  commemorates the day the Romans broke through the walls of Jerusalem, finally ending its long siege. Continue reading

Flag Day: The Anniversary of the Stars & Stripes

(CC0 image via Pixabay)

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Each year, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th. It started with a teacher, BJ Cigrand, in 1885. He encouraged his students to observe the anniversary of the adoption of the first official flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. At that time, the flag sported only 38 stars (compared to 50 today), after Colorado joined the Union in 1876, along with the 13 horizontal stripes representing the original 13 Colonies.

flags
The flag on display at Bay Shore library

Cigrand spread the idea through his writing and speeches on patriotism and the flag. Over time the ceremonies grew across the United States. After three decades of acknowledging “Flag Day”, President Woodrow Wilson wrote a Proclamation on May 30th, 1916 for the official observation of the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777. To further recognize the history of the flag, an Act of Congress on August 3rd, 1949 signed by President Truman officially made June 14th of each year National Flag Day.

Citizens, businesses and organizations are encouraged to observe Flag Day by hanging a flag throughout the week of June 14th.

Contributed by: Joan Wagner, Chief Librarian, Bay Shore

Streufert, Duane. “Usflag.Org: A Website Dedicated To The Flag Of The United States Of America – The History Of Flag Day”. Usflag.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 13 June 2017.

Thank you again, Rita Hilu

This blog was originally posted in 2015. Over the weekend, Starrett City Library Assistant Rita Hilu passed away. Rita was an incredibly important member of the Touro College Libraries staff, and we want to remind everyone of what made her so special to students, faculty, and staff.

HELLO
After receiving many positive comments and remarks by Starrett City students and faculty on the Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey in December, Ms. Rita Hilu, our wonderful library staff at Starrett City, responds in her own words with gratitude and encouragement: Continue reading

Bs’d Shavuot—Festival of Weeks

 

(Image courtesy of zingyyellow via Wikimedia)
In Biblical times, when the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, Shavuot was the second of three holidays during which pilgrims visited the sacred city and the house of G-D. Shavuot annually marks the completion of 7 weeks since the great exodus from Egypt. On the 50th day (which was the 6th of the month of Sivan), the Torah and the Ten Commandments were given at Mt. Sinai.

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Touro’s Seventh Annual Research Day

IMG_0628
Photo by Sara Tabaei

On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Touro College held its seventh annual Research Day at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine/Touro College of Pharmacy campus in Harlem.  Not only was this day a great opportunity for faculty and students to showcase their recent research in the form of poster presentations, it was also an opportunity to hear some renowned keynote speakers sharing their most recent research with our students, faculty, deans, and senior administration. 

In his welcoming note, Touro President Dr. Alan Kadish shared a story of a very young patient who had a rare disease called Batten disease. He went on to explain that though there is no cure for the disease yet, the doctors of this patient used translational research to stabilize the patient. Translational research is, according to Wikipedia, a rapidly growing discipline in biomedical research that applies findings from basic science to enhance human health and well-being. It aims to “translate” findings in fundamental research into medical practice and meaningful health outcomes to expedite the discovery of new diagnostic tools and treatments. With this story, Dr. Kadish conveyed how quickly science can progress when motivation and creativity exist. Continue reading

Money Smart Week

 

Moneysmart
Source:  ALA–MSW 2018

 

The entire month of April is Financial Literacy Month, but this week is also Money Smart Week. If personal finance is not something you usually give a lot of thought, now is a great time to build off tax season (and possibly a refund!) and to extend the spirit of spring cleaning to your bank accounts. There are many resources available to help you take control of your finances and make your money work for you. Of course, this is a place to exercise your information literacy skills, and to consult a certified professional where appropriate, but we have compiled a new Financial Literacy LibGuide to help you get started.  Continue reading