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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.
The story of Purim is found in the Book of Esther, one of the books in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Bible. It is set in the land of Persia (current day Iran) at the time when Ahashverosh was king. King Ahashverosh held a banquet in the capital city of Shushan and ordered his queen, Vashti, to come and dance before his guests. She refused to appear and lost her royal position.
In the Book of Esther, we read that Purim is a time for "feasting and merrymaking," as well as for "sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor" (Esther 9:22).
During Tu BiShvat, we focus our attention towards the environment and environmental issues.
The Temple revamped its Social Action Committee by creating pledge cards in which congregants can indicate which type of Social Action projects they are interested in doing and how often they are available. Temple Beth Am 2632 NE 80th Seattle, Washington 98115 (206) 525-0915 www.templebetham.org...
The Temple's religious school engaged in a year long project to support Ethiopian Jewry. They sold embroidery, hosted a Ethiopian-themed Shabbat, and created a national photo exhibit. Temple Jeremiah 937 Happ Road P.O.
The Temple partnered with two churches in the South Bronx in order to foster connections between the communities. Through tutoring, blood drives, homeless shelters, and other means, the communities have worked together through iner-faith relations to help make our world a better place.