Israeli Heat Wave Limits Lag B’Omer Bonfires
Lag B’Omer bonfires were limited throughout Israel because of a heatwave that pushed temperatures well into the 90s throughout most of the country, JTA reported.
Fearing widespread fires, Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service said bonfires could only be lit in municipality-designated areas. In addition, bonfires were prohibited in national parks and nature preserves. Many of those locations were closed as well.
This isn’t the first time weather hasn’t cooperated for Lag B’Omer, which marks the 33rd day of the counting between Passover and Shavuot. In 2018, the Fire and Rescue Service banned bonfires in parts of northern and central Israel, citing a heat wave and high winds.
The Israeli heat wave intensified later in the week, with temperatures soaring well above 100 degrees.
Labor Issues May Halt Third Season of ‘Shtisel’
Cast members have been asked by the Israeli Actors’ Association — which cited the sale of the series overseas — to not sign contracts unless more money is guaranteed.
“We cannot stand idly by when they are exploiting actors and earning money from selling series abroad on their backs,” Uri Reshtik, chairman of the association, said in a statement, noting that European and U.S. networks pay their actors more when shows are sold and aired abroad.
Shtisel became a hit on Netflix last year and was set to be revived after only airing for two seasons in Israel, but the YES network that produces the show said a third season hasn’t been confirmed.
Israeli Scientists Brew Beer with 5,000-Year-Old Yeast
Israeli scientists isolated yeast from ancient pottery and used it to brew beer akin to what the Egyptian pharaoh and ancient Jewish leaders would drink, JTA reported on May 22.
The yeast was recovered from jars dating to Pharaoh Narmer, circa 3,000 BCE, the Aramean King Hazael, 800 BCE, and the Prophet Nehemiah, 400 BCE. After cleaning and sequencing the full genome of each specimen, they determined they were similar to modern beer yeast, as well as those in traditional African beer.
Israeli beer expert Itai Gutman helped scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority, Tel Aviv University and Bar-Ilan University make the beer.
“By the way, the beer isn’t bad,” said Ronen Hazan, a microbiologist from the School of Dental Medicine at Hebrew University. “Aside from the gimmick of drinking beer from the time of King Pharaoh, this research is extremely important to the field of experimental archaeology — a field that seeks to reconstruct the past.”
80 Hearing-Impaired Students Have Joint Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ceremony
The International Young Israel Movement sponsored 80 deaf and hearing-impaired children on May 20 for a joint Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremony in Jerusalem, JTA reported.
The ceremony occurred at the Nitzanim synagogue in the Baka neighborhood.
In addition, the children visited the Western Wall and had a tour presented in sign language.
New York-based poet-performer Douglas Ridloff participated in the ceremony. Ridloff, who is deaf, attended on behalf of the U.S.-based nonprofit SignTalk Foundation.