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Rabbi's Blog

rabbi 05 smallsf badge lgRabbi Joel Landau  (rabbi@adathisraelsf.org) has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.


Shalom again from Israel!

By the time you will be reading this, Tehela & Eitan’s wedding will be over. However, that does not mean that the celebration of their marriage will have ended. The custom is to have celebratory meals for seven days! Every day of the week following the wedding, different family members or friends host a party in honor of the newlyweds and the Sheva B’rachot (the seven blessings) that were recited under the chuppah are recited again. This is especially important on the Shabbat following the wedding, where Johni & I will be hosting our family, Eitan’s family and a bunch of guests for all three Shabbat meals! 

Though it was far from easy getting everyone approved to travel to Israel and it was touch-and-go until the last minute, Baruch Hashem, all our sons from the East Coast and their families succeeded in making it to Israel. Last week, I wrote “If they all make it, this will be the first time our family will be together in around six years,” but I was mistaken. Since two of our grandchildren here are respirated and therefore, could not attend our son Barak’s wedding six years ago, this is the first time ALL of us are together since early 2013.                                                                                                             

In addition to the daily post wedding parties, we are anxiously awaiting the birth of our next grandchild – any day now. 

You might not realize it, but all food involved events here in Israel are more challenging this year because it’s a Shemitah year. Why? What am I talking about? Please check out Blog #1 to gain an understanding of how this year is very different.  

Another factor that adds to the challenge of planning a wedding this year is, of course, Covid -19. Under Ministry of Health regulations, the wedding venue required all attendees to show proof of either: an Israeli Tav Yarok, a certificate of Covid recovery, a PCR test taken within 72 hours, a rapid antigen test administered by Magen David Adom, or documentation from abroad stating that one is recovered from Covid within the last 6 months. This is a serious matter because the authorities do make spot checks occasionally and have the right to ask any participant to show valid and proper documentation, (either digitally or on old fashioned paper for those without smartphones).                                 

Speaking about Covid, Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Director of the Tzohar Center for Jewish Ethics and a Founder of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, just wrote an interesting op-ed about “Patient responsibilities and ethical behavior in an age of medical debate” that you can find in Blog #2.

Finally, last Friday was the Jerusalem Marathon. Were it not for all the pre-wedding stuff going on in my life, I would have participated. Several of my friends did run and had a great time – literally (their running time was great)! Did you know that the Jerusalem Marathon is not the only Jewishly founded major marathon in the world? I didn’t either until I read the article posted in Blog #3. 

Blog #1: “Everything You Need to Know About Shemittah,” by Y. Dov Krakowski, originally published on OUkosher.org

Blog #2: “Patient responsibilities and ethical behavior in an age of medical debate,” by Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, originally published on the Times of Israel

Blog #3: “Honoring a commitment,” by Joanne Palmer, originally published on the Jewish Standard