My husband introduced me to techina (tahini), a staple found in most Israeli kitchens, as soon as we made aliyah in 1992.
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.
This morning I met again with my usual cohort of Jewish clergy who study sacred texts together each week in the coffee shop.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that it can be difficult to be Jewish at Christmas time. It has seeped into North American cultural consciousness so thoroughly that South Park even wrote a song about it, complete with trademark expletives.
My 6-year-old son recently staged a one-man play in our kitchen. It had a simple plot – a mom with her face buried in her phone, tapping away at the keys while a kid tries to get her attention. “Tap, tap, tap… Mom. Mom. Mom…. tap, tap, tap. Mom, Mom, Mom. Tap, tap, tap. MOM! MOM!
At some point in his or her career, every member of the clergy is called on to defend the efficacy of organized religion as a force for good.