By Joshua Weinberg
“And when you come into the Land, and have planted all manner of food bearing trees… (Lev. 19:23) The Holy one Blessed be he said to the people Israel: Even though you have found [the land] full of plenty, you shall not say: We shall sit and not plant, rather proceed with caution in your planting… For as you have entered and found the fruits of others’ labor, you so shall plant for your children. (Midrash Tanhuma)
If you’re like me, then you may remember that pivotal moment of Jewish education when you received your very own Jewish National Fund (JNF) certificate for a tree planted in Israel. Whether it was for a birth, birthday, bar/bat mitzvah, or in memory of a loved one, a tree was planted in Israel to mark the occasion. The message was clear: with every passing milestone we want to connect Jews to the Land of Israel and to the Zionist enterprise. All of us who were the fortunate recipients of such trees knew in the recesses of our mind that somewhere in that strip of land, in some forest, was our tree, our little piece of Israel. As the certificates read, the JNF wished us the following: “We wish you the fortune of seeing it grow with much pleasure and ease.”
Literally, “four species.” The Torah specifies four species to bring together on Sukkot. The four species are: lulav (branches of palm trees), etrog (citron), hadasim (myrtle branches), and aravot (willows) (Leviticus 23:40).
Literally, “egg.” It is an item on the Passover seder plate that represents the Passover sacrifice from biblical times. And, it symbolizes the spring season.
Another vegetable, often romaine lettuce, that appears on the Passover seder plate. Chazeret is used in addition to maror as a bitter herb.
Literally, “It Is Enough for Us.” A seder song of gratitude that recounts many miracles and gifts from God associated with the Exodus story, any one of which “would have been enough.”
The Passover seder includes four cups of wine, one for each of God’s promises/expressions of Redemption: “I will take you out;” “I will save you;” “I will redeem you;” and “I will take you as a nation” (Exodus 6:6-7).
Literally, “telling.” This is the Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover seder. Plural: Haggadot.
“Telling.” The section of the Pesach (Passover) Haggadah designed to tell the Passover story.
A contemporary item added by some to the Pesach (Passover) seder. Often placed next to Elijah’s cup, Miriam’s cup highlights the role of Miriam and women in the Exodus story.