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Fish has always been a primary ingredient in Jewish cookery because it was plentiful, easy to prepare, and symbolized fertility and prosperity. And gefilte fish has long been the most iconic fish dish in Jewish homes.
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
The holiday of Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is perhaps one of the most central to Jewish life and history. More widely observed than any other holiday, Passover celebrates the biblical account of the Israelites’ redemption and escape from 400 years of Egyptian slavery.
There are several mitzvot (commandments) unique to Passover, which are evident in the customs and rituals of the holiday to this day: matzah (the eating of unleavened bread); maror (the eating of bitter herbs); chameitz (abstaining from eating leavened bread or other foods containing wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt); biur chameitz (removal of leaven from the home); and Haggadah (participation in the seder meal and telling the story).
I renovated part of my house for Passover. No joke! I used to have an elongated room with an archway dividing the space into living room and dining room. That wasn't good.
Three nations-Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco-constitute the Maghreb, a part of North Africa where Jews have lived for over 2,500 years, since the destruction of the first Temple. Tales are still told of how fleeing priests carried one of the Temple doors to the island of Djerba in Tunisia, where it was used in a synagogue
Although the celebration of Tu BiShvat has a long and varied history, the theme most commonly ascribed to the holiday today is the environment.
Sadie is determined to plant a tree for Tu BiShvat, the birthday of the trees. She imagines one that will eventually grow big enough to hold a swing and yield crunchy, sweet apples. Unfortunately, it is winter where she lives – but she keeps on trying.