Tu BiShvat, called the "New Year of the Trees," falls at a seemingly incongruous time of year.
Tu BiShvat is a minor festival whose provenance dates only to the time of the Second Temple. However, the kabbalists who clustered around the great fifteenth-century mystic Isaac Luria of Safed placed great weight on the holiday, creating new festivities, gatherings at which hymns were sung, fruit (particularly carob) was eaten, and four cups of wine were taken (as in the Passover seder).
My friend returned from a trip to Israel with a red string tied around her wrist. What can you tell me about the meaning of wearing a red string?
How wonderful that you are seeking to find a religious home – not just a place, but one that resonates with your soul. Not only is there room for you in Reform Judaism, but we welcome you – with open arms, heart, and mind – and we need you! You have a lot to offer and we look forward to meeting you and to getting to know you!
My mother passed away in late November and I am planning the unveiling. I was thinking of a day in May, June, or July, and I think it should be a Sunday. Are there any specific times or dates I must avoid?
I want to make a menorah as a gift for a good friend of mine. If, due to design constraints, I cannot make the candle holders vertically uniform, would that be an issue?
Do you ever wonder why Judaism is called Judaism? This week’s parashah, Vayigash, has an answer. This is the moment when Joseph and his brothers, including Judah, dramatically reconnect, and Judah demonstrates a deep caring for his people.