Coming a month and a half before the spring equinox and two months before Passover, Tu BiShvat provides a glimmer of springtime at a time when winter can often be at its cruelest.
My mother died on Shabbat Shirah, the Sabbath when Moses and the children of Israel sang while Miriam the Prophet led everyone in dance after crossing the sea to freedom.
As a kid, Shabbat meant brisket. I loved that. Every once in a while, my mother would get inspired and feel the need to… cook? No, she always cooked in those days. It wasn't until many years later that dinner was more likely to be ordered than made.
According to traditional Jewish belief, the Sabbath has its origin in God’s divine command to observe the seventh day as a day of rest and sanctification.
This past weekend, my wife Helene and I had a chance to see the Reform Movement at its best and got to do so while also listening to the Boston Symphony Orchestra play Mozart and Ravel.
Can you hear it? They’re talking about us again. They’re theorizing and pontificating on us 20s and 30s, jumping to conclusions about our Jewish identity. They’re pointing to declining numbers in affiliation with synagogues and other institutions, and they’re afraid. Terrified, even.