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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.
It's the children, at first, that inspire awe, the infants now walking, the toddlers talking, the grade schoolers freshly combed and pressed, the high schoolers immense, the college students all but unrecognizable in their newfound sophistication. The brief span of twelve months has metamorphosed them all.
Our fondest memories often center on family gatherings and delicious meals that include foods related to specific Jewish holidays – matzah brei on Passover, latkes during Hanukkah, or cheesecake on Shavuot
A round challah is one of many ways that we make regular foods extra special in celebration of the New Year. This year, kick your challah-making game up a notch with a host of recipes to choose from based on just how you like your challah and step-by-step instructions on how to shape them.
There are many customs and traditions associated with Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, a time of prayer, self-reflection and repentance.
Here are blessings for home rituals during the Rosh HaShanah holiday. Lighting candles, eating apples and honey, offering thanks for sweetness and sustenance, and celebrating the cycle of life we travel each year while around a table with family and friends can add richness to your Holy Day observance.
In ancient times, there were four different New Years on the Jewish calendar. Each had a distinct significance.
Listen to this selection of songs to help you get in the spirit of self-reflection, in preparation for the High Holidays.