Tu BiShvat (Hebrew for the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat) is the new year of the trees.
Combines many of the flavors and foods found in Spain and Portugal with the classic technique for making a bread kugel.
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.
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.
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.”