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.”
Everyone loves to participate in a Pesach seder. But did you know that there is an opportunity to celebrate a different seder about two months earlier?
"Spinning top" in Yiddish (derived from German); "sevivon" in Hebrew; toy used in a children's Hanukkah game.
"Money" (Yiddish); often given as a Hanukkah gift; used for playing dreidel.
"Noisemaker" (Hebrew); used to drown out Haman's name during the M'gillah reading on Purim.
Triangle-shaped pastries commonly filled with apricot jam or poppyseed spread (or other fillings) and eaten on Purim; the shape represents Haman's hat or ears
"Dedication;" the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Macabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.
"Pancake" (Yiddish); fried potato pancake often eaten on Hanukkah; plural: latkes.
"Scroll;" One of the five m'gillot (plural) in the Bible: Esther, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentation and Ecclesiastes.
Seven- or nine-branched candelabra; commonly refers to the nine-branched Hanukkah lamp; plural: menorot.