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.”
"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
"Scroll;" One of the five m'gillot (plural) in the Bible: Esther, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentation and Ecclesiastes.
"Sending of portions" (Hebrew). Baskets of sweets and other foods exchanged among friends on Purim.
"Lots" (Hebrew). Holiday that commemorates Queen Esther's actions to save the Jews of Persia from death; marked by a festive reading of the story, contained in the Scroll of Esther.
Humorous play performed as part of the celebration of Purim.
"Shabbat of Remembrance;" the Shabbat immediately preceding Purim, it takes its name from the additional Torah portion--Deuteronomy 25:17-19--read that day--which begins with the word zachor (remember).
"15th of Shevat;" New Year of the Trees; Jewish Arbor Day, which is a minor festival.