Shavuot

The spiritual genius of eating cheesecake

By Dr Ben Elton, May 9, 2013

Early leaders of Reform Judaism thought that men and women had moved past ritual and ceremony. In the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London and classical Reform temples in the United States the service was reduced to hymn singing, responsive prayers and a sermon. It soon became clear that this was leaving congregations cold.

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One day good, two days bad

By Jennifer Lipman, October 12, 2012

Imagine if the day after Halloween, trick-or-treaters decided to return for a second dose of sugary delights and egg-related threats? Or, if after every Valentine's Day, hopeless romantics expected their loved ones to whisper sweet nothings for a further 25 hours. Madness, we'd say. Once is enough.

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Thank heaven for Shavuot

By Simon Rocker, May 24, 2012

Shavuot ought to be the most popular of the major festivals. There are no long services, like Rosh Hashanah; no fasting as on Yom Kippur; no rain-spattered meals in a draughty succah. And a slice of cheesecake is a lot more appetising than a week-long diet of matzah.

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Reading the Book of Ruth on Shavuot

May 24, 2012

Alongside the episode of giving the Torah, on Shavuot we also read the seemingly less spectacular story of Ruth.

However, even without a smoking mountain or the Ten Commandments, Ruth is still a powerful tale of embracing Judaism.

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Praise be for the chicken-free celebration of cheesecake

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2012

Jews, eh. We like to think that we're a tolerant bunch, but when it comes to behaviour that is deemed to veer from the norm, we can be surprisingly judgmental.

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Goat’s cheese and spinach cheesecake

By Fabienne Viner-Luzzato, May 21, 2012

This unusual savoury cheesecake makes a perfect brunch dish but is also a lovely vegetarian option. It can be served hot or at room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8 people

INGREDIENTS
For the base:
250g savoury oatcakes
110g butter, melted
2 tbsp milk

For the filling:
600g cream cheese
3 large eggs
150g goat’s cheese with hard rind
100g sundried tomatoes
8-10 baby cherry tomatoes

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No-bake chocolate cheesecake

By Ren Behan, May 18, 2012

This cheesecake slice isn’t light on calories, but it is smooth, creamy, very tasty and only involves a bit of whizzing, mixing and chilling. The result is a lovely alternative to a traditional baked cheesecake. A perfect make-ahead dessert.
Serves 6

Ingredients
200g chocolate digestive biscuits, or similar
50g unsalted butter, melted

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Baked custard cheesecake

By Lisa Roukin, May 18, 2012

This delicious, creamy cake is yummy served with a fruit compote.
Serves 12-14
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes plus 4 hours chilling

Ingredients
250g digestive biscuits or similar, finely crushed
125g unsalted butter, melted (plus extra for greasing the tin)
750g cream cheese, softened
225g caster sugar
2 tbsp custard powder
3 large eggs

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Milk and honey fudge

By Ruth Joseph, May 18, 2012

Some say that the Torah is as sweet and perfect as milk and honey. So with that lovely idea in mind I have created this deliciously more-ish milk and honey fudge for Shavuot. It is made with light evaporated milk but the taste is creamy and rich.
Makes 24 pieces approx
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes plus cooling

INGREDIENTS

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Flowers on shavuot

May 18, 2012

Florists in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world will be busy next week in the run-up to Shavuot. Why do we celebrate the festival of receiving of the Torah and of bringing the first fruits (bikkurim) to the Temple by decorating synagogues with flowers?

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