North Shore Temple Emanuel
a Progressive Jewish Congregation
Ask an average person to describe kosher food and they might say it is food “blessed by a rabbi.” The word “kosher,” however, is Hebrew for “fit” or “appropriate” and describes the food that is suitable for a Jew to eat. With its roots in the Hebrew Bible, the system of defining which foods are kosher was developed by the rabbis of late antiquity. Its application to changing realities has been the work of subsequent generations, including our own.
A Jewish custom — known in Hebrew as a minhag — is a religious practice that, though sometimes very widely practiced, does not carry the force of Jewish law and is thus not considered mandatory by traditional Jews.
Chai (חי) is the Hebrew word for life. The word, consisting of two Hebrew letters —chet (ח) and yud (י)— is a Jewish symbol, frequently appearing on pendants and other jewelry.
Unlike the Indian tea chai, which is pronounced with the “ch” sound of “chocolate,” the Hebrew chai is pronounced with the same “kh” sound as in challah. Both words rhyme with “high,” however.
For over a century planting a tree in Israel has been a wonderful way to remember a loved who has died or honor a loved one for a celebratory occasion.
Tu BiShvat, the Birthday of the Trees, is a wonderful time to continue this tradition.
For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide.
Every year, we celebrate the strange Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat – according to the Talmud, it’s a birthday for all of the trees born in the previous year. And not just a birthday – it’s really a “new year” for the trees. How odd is that? In this video, Imu Shalev breaks down this strange holiday to uncover what Tu B’Shvat really means to us today. Discover how Tu B’Shvat is actually all about gratitude to our Creator, for the fruits of the trees.