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According to Jewish tradition, tzedakah is part of our obligation to help repair the world. Making charitable contributions helps others, and in doing so, it also helps me and my sons.
For children in interfaith families, clarifying the role of religion in the family dynamic is important.
Here are eight wonderful things about Hanukkah, one for each night, that can enhance our celebrations of this beloved holiday.
As Sukkot comes to an end, we encounter additional special days in the Jewish calendar: Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah
Although according to Jewish custom Hanukkah is considered a “minor” Jewish festival, today it ranks—along with Passover and Purim—as one of the most beloved Jewish holidays, full of light and joy and family celebration.
The symbolic message of the customs associated with Simchat Torah emphasize that the Torah represents our heritage and history, and links Jews to each other over many generations.
At Sukkot, Jewish tradition encourages us to welcome seven holy guests into our sukkot, one for each night of the week. In a modern variation to this custom, each night can be connected to a related social action theme.
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