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May 2014 / Iyyar 5774

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Counting the Days        

We often talk about how we are "counting the days" before an eagerly anticipated event. That's exactly what we do beginning on the second night of Pesach - we begin counting the days until the next festival. The mitzvah of sefirat ha-omer - counting the days (the term omer refers to the barley offering that was offered in the Temple on the second day of Pesach) prepares us for the joy of commemorating the revelation of our Law on Mount Sinai.

The Omer period between Pesach and Shavuot carries mournful overtones owing to a plague that killed 24,000 scholars, students of Rabbi Akiba, in the Talmudic period. ("Plague" could be interpreted to mean "Roman soldiers" as these events took place during the Bar Kochba revolt.) But on the thirty-third day of the Omer period - Lag ba-Omer - the mood turns celebratory.
Shavuot itself is the "odd man out" among the three Pilgrimage Festivals (Sukkot, Pesach, Shavuot). It's short, and its observance involves no special foods and rituals aside from maybe eating blintzes and staying up all night studying. As such, it is known by the Rabbis as "The Season of Acting Like a College Student."

As always, we welcome your submissions and your constructive input.  Let us know how best to serve your needs and those of your Club.

In This Issue

Shavuot: The Rodney Dangerfield of Jewish Holidays

The Oak Ridge Boys and Anshei Darom

FJMC Classifieds

Shavuot: The Rodney Dangerfield of Jewish Holidays

Shavuot is one of the three biblical Pilgrimage Festivals, holidays on which the ancient Israelites would travel to Jerusalem with their offerings of animals, grain, and what-not for the Temple. Shavuot, however, is... different.

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The Oak Ridge Boys and Anshei Darom

Those of us who attend the annual Anshei Darom Region Retreat are always blessed with a fantastic weekend of friendship, tefillah, and tzedakah. But this year's retreat had some very special attributes...

FJMC Classifieds

If someone in your club or region has a skill which isn't being used by your Men's Club, but that person might be willing to use that skill on behalf of FJMC, here is a way to get involved.  We've posted a list of jobs which need to be filled, and who to contact to speak about volunteering. New areas of responsibility are posted weekly, so check back frequently.

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Have something of interest to your fellow Men's Clubs?  Send it to HaShofar!  


HaShofar is another way that FJMC is keeping the flow of information moving between clubs and the international organization.  We want to keep you informed on:


     + What we do to support our 20,000 members

     + What FJMC does to address Conservative/Masorti issues

     + What our Clubs and Regions are doing that everyone can benefit from


The only way we can let everyone else know what's happening is if we hear from you first!  Send your submissions to HaShofar editor Steve Krodman at steve.elisson@gmail.com and we'll do our best to squeeze them in.


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