Tu BiShvat, called the "New Year of the Trees," falls at a seemingly incongruous time of year.
Tu BiShvat is a minor festival whose provenance dates only to the time of the Second Temple. However, the kabbalists who clustered around the great fifteenth-century mystic Isaac Luria of Safed placed great weight on the holiday, creating new festivities, gatherings at which hymns were sung, fruit (particularly carob) was eaten, and four cups of wine were taken (as in the Passover seder).
Combines many of the flavors and foods found in Spain and Portugal with the classic technique for making a bread kugel.
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.
Dr. Ron Wolfson, in his book, Shabbat: The Family Guide to Preparing for and Celebrating the Sabbath, appropriately notes that while there are specific rituals that are part of every Shabbat, each Shabbat experience is different.
Genesis 22:1-24, the story of God testing Abraham by instructing him to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah, is known as the Akedah.
Just as God's relationships with key characters in the Torah (e.g., Moses, our forefathers and foremothers) are unique, so are our relationships to Jewish music vastly different in the way we each respond, as sounds vibrate within us and echo through our souls.