"Tu" (the Hebrew abbreviation of 15th) in the month of Shvat was set (Hillel's opinion generally overrules Shammai's) as the beginning of the tithable year for tree fruit: Calculating the tithe on fruit starts again for fruit that sets after that date.
Here is the quintessential Jewish question: How do we emulate God? We are told that we were created by God. We are told that we have a divine spark within us.
During the height of the recession, I moved to Switzerland. I had already lived in France, Japan, India and Israel, and traveled much of the rest of the world.
While my neighbors were putting their Christmas trees to the curb, in what seems like a ritual of replacement, I was preparing to plant for Tu BiShvat.
Tu BiShvat is a reminder that we spend our lives planting seeds. Time and effort are needed for our efforts to bear fruit. Wait patiently. One day, like the seed, we will be blessed.
Genesis 22:1-24, the story of God testing Abraham by instructing him to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah, is known as the Akedah.
Recently, I dusted off my shofar and have been brushing up on my shofar-blowing skills to prepare for the upcoming High Holidays.
Around the High Holidays, we may find ourselves remembering loved ones who have died, feeling the emptiness at the holiday table or in the pews during services.