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Tu b’Shevat helps us align with holy eating from the earliest moment of the development of this year’s delicious fruits. This day gives us a new beginning at the very fulcrum of our lives, the primal and decisive act of eating.
Tu b’Shevat repairs one’s eating for the entire year, so much so, that our eating can become like that of Adam and Eve before their spiritual fall. (Pri Tzadik, Parashat Beshalach) Since their spiritual fall and contraction came about through impulsively eating from a tree, we can create a spiritual elevation and expansion by eating fruits in mindfulness and holiness.
The Kabbalists created a simple and informal "seder" for Tu b’Shevat that can initiate us into the spirituality of eating. Like the Passover Seder
Winter fruit might seem less spectacular than the much more time-valued offerings of summer, but oranges and pears in particular, while quiet and “common,” can be the unexpected stars of simple savory dishes.
This is perfect for Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for trees, which is a relatively unsung holiday. Sparkle up your Tu B’Shevat seder with an easy but surprising sweet potato-pear soup, which goes perfectly with a winter salad featuring crunchy, colorful leaves refreshingly coated with
Navigating the delicate moments on Friday afternoon of Chanukah
1. When should one daven Mincha on erev Shabbos?
Preferably, one should daven Mincha before lighting the menorah. This is the same sequence of events as in the Holy Temple, where the menorah was lit after the afternoon offering. If this is not possible, one may daven Mincha after lighting the menorah. According to some opinions, a special effort should be made to daven Mincha before lighting when the first day of Chanukah is on
Who are the heroes of Chanukah?
The founders of the “Jewish Olympics” had a formidable task. To find a name for the games, they had to pick through Jewish history and find a hero who, if not actually athletic, was minimally physically fit. Two millennia of pasty-faced scholars did not qualify, so they reached back further. King David had a spindly physique and, as the author of Psalms, was remembered more for his lyrical poetry than his military conquests. The greatest war hero among the Biblical
Beis Yosef asked, “Why do we celebrate Chanukah for eight days if there was ample oil to last for one day? It would seem that the miracle was that the oil lasted an additional seven days… in which case, Chanukah should be celebrated for seven days, not eight.”
This most famous of Chanukah questions can certainly give one pause. Not that there are not any number of answers given. Indeed, there are hundreds of answers that have been offered over the ages to Beis Yosef’s question. Some are