Fall is the harvest season of many products in Israel, including dates. Date palms are one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. In the Torah, the name "Tamar", Hebrew for “date”, is mentioned several times as a girl's name but also as a metaphor for an attractive young woman. For example in the Song of Songs 7:8 "Your stature is like a palm tree". It is not a coincidence that Tamar is also one of the most popular female Hebrew names.
On September 25, 2014 the sabbatical year begins in Israel. It is also called the "Shmita year" or a year that the land is allowed to lie fallow. During a "shmita year" Israeli farmers will not harvest or cultivate the land or prune any trees for an entire year.
"Also on the day of the first fruits, when you present a new grain offering to the
Lord in your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no
laborious work." (Numbers 28:26)
The Jewish holiday of Shavuot was celebrated yesterday. According to Jewish
tradition Shavuot is the day the Children of Israel received the Torah at Mt. Sinai.
According to the Talmud God gave the Ten Commandments to the Jews on the sixth night
of the Hebrew month of Sivan. Shavuot always falls 50 days after the second night of