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Wheat, barley, grape, fig, pomegranate, olive, and date. Collectively they are known as the sheva minim, the seven species of sacred fruits and grains grown in the Land of Israel.
Although according to Jewish custom Hanukkah is considered a “minor” Jewish festival, today it ranks—along with Passover and Purim—as one of the most beloved Jewish holidays, full of light and joy and family celebration.
Hanukkah can be a time for us to rededicate ourselves to the Jewish value of tikkun olam, repair of the world.
The Jewish mystics of the 17th century, the Kabbalists, created a special ritual—modeled after the Passover seder—to celebrate God's presence in nature. Today in modern Israel, Tu BiShvat has become a national holiday, a tree planting festivaTu BiShvat is not mentioned in the Torah. Scholars believe the holiday was originally an agricultural festival, corresponding to the beginning of spring in Israel. But a critical historical event helped Tu BiShvat evolve from a simple celebration of spring to a commemoration of our connection to the land of Israel. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. and the exile that followed, many of the exiled Jews felt a need to bind themselves symbolically to their former homeland. Tu BiShvat served in part to fill that spiritual need. Jews used this time each year to eat a variety of fruits and nuts that could be obtained from Israel. The practice, a sort of physical association with the land, continued for many centuries.l for both Israelis and Jews throughout the world
Although the celebration of Tu BiShvat has a long and varied history, the theme most commonly ascribed to the holiday today is the environment.
Dear Jonathan, This menorah belonged to my great-grandfather. Born in Nowy Korcyzn, Poland around 1869, he lived most of his life in Vienna until leaving Austria in 1938 and later settling in the United States.
As Sukkot comes to an end, we encounter additional special days in the Jewish calendar: Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah