"Tu" (the Hebrew abbreviation of 15th) in the month of Shvat was set (Hillel's opinion generally overrules Shammai's) as the beginning of the tithable year for tree fruit: Calculating the tithe on fruit starts again for fruit that sets after that date.
Purim is just around the corner. Your congregation is making plans for the celebration, whether those plans include a carnival or a spiel, there is a sense of excitement in the air. These festivities are rooted in the Bible, more specifically in M’gillat Esther.
Every story has its music. The story of Esther, told on Purim, has music – the cantillation of the Megillah (scroll of Esther). But every piece of music also has its story. This essay will share some of the fascinating story behind how we chant parts of the Megillah.
In my household, Purim has been the holiday in which I have taken something “traditional” and turned in on its head!
Here is the quintessential Jewish question: How do we emulate God? We are told that we were created by God. We are told that we have a divine spark within us.
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.