"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.
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.
This year at our Passover seder, I experienced something deeply powerful which I had not felt in the context of Passover before.
For a people with just one God, we Jews sure do a lot of counting.
Three patriarchs, four matriarchs, six days of creation, eight nights of Hanukkah, 12 tribes, 40 years in the desert, 70 years in a life - 80 if we’re really robust. You get the picture…
I stood on the border of my wilderness.
It beckons in silent commandment,
My feet feeling for the road
That is dusty and half hidden
Under brambles and
Camp helps us feel closer to God.” With this sentence, I opened my dialogue with the summer leadership staff of URJ Camp Newman, a Reform Jewish sleepaway camp, at our annual retreat. As it turns out, even some of our rabbinic students felt uneasy about this language and its placement within our opening conversation.