The “Fruity & Nutty” Jewish Holiday – Tu BiSh’vat

Celetrate Tu BiSh'evat

Ah, the almond tree in Israel. In bloom again. Time for Tu BiSh’vat, the New Year of the Trees. (Sorry - this isn't an almond blossom, but you get the idea.) To get you in the spirit, read these lines from Rabbi Vicki Hollander’s lyrical “Ode to the Moon of Sh’vat.” (It’s definitely worth clicking on the link to read the rest of it.) And as the full moon rises, on the 15th day of Sh’vat, so comes her holy day, Tu BiSh’vat, the new year of the trees. When according to legend, that very night, the moon pulls and sap stirs within the trees, rising upwards. Full of Possibility Tu … [Read more...]

Inspiration for Sukkot Fun

building the Sukkah

Sukkot 2016 starts the evening of Sunday, October 16th. I love fall, nature, excuses to be outside, and autumn harvest foods. So it’s no wonder that I love Sukkot. If you don’t have the luxury of being able to build your own sukkah, there are still 100s of ways to celebrate. To inspire you, here are just a few: Colorful Sukkot Recipes Apple Cider Glazed Sweet Potatoes Easy Roasted Red Pepper Soup from   Mini-Sukkah Crafts Build a Mini Sukkah for Sukkot  from Tori Avey Instant Edible Sukkah from BibleBeltBalabosta   More Family-Friendly … [Read more...]

Building Anticipation for Sukkot

Building a sukkah

“Is It Sukkot Yet?” is a brand new hard cover book by Chris Barash, pictures by Alessandra Psacharopulo designed for young children, 3-6. With a focus on all the senses, the story uses an echoing of the phrase, “Sukkot is on its way,” as it shares the tale of a family in a pastoral setting getting ready for the holiday. With lovely stylized images on each page – from gardens and fences, to trees and birds, squirrels and dogs, wagons, and so on, the color palette is all about fall, with lots of reds, oranges, browns, greens, golds. Because of the short amount of copy on each page (some of … [Read more...]

Cheesecake, Anyone? – Shavuot is Coming!

Cheesecake for Shavuot

Shavuot has so many names. Since it celebrates receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, one of its names is Z’man Matan Torah, or Time of the Giving of Torah. “Shavuot celebrates the moment when the Jewish people stood before God at Mount Sinai and received a scroll containing all the secrets of the universe as a memento of their encounter.  The scroll was the Torah.  She is called a tree of life.” (Anita Diamant, Living a Jewish Life ) The name itself has the word “shavuah” in it, the Hebrew word for week. So Hag haShavuot, Feast of Weeks, recognizes the seven-week period between Passover and … [Read more...]

Lag B’Omer – Family Fun Between Passover & Shavuot

Celebrate Lag B'Omer

Lag B’Omer (pronounced lahg b’aw-mehr) is coming! Lag B'Omer  begins Wednesday, May 25th and ends Thursday, May 26th. This minor holiday comes 33 days into the 49-day Counting of the Omer (after Passover and before Shavuot). It often includes outdoor celebrations - think picnics, ball games, roasting marshmallows, and cranking up that grill. If you’re not sure what the significance is, you’re not alone. In fact, there are different points of view about its origins. Lag B’Omer basics What’s it mean? Lag B’Omer means the 33rd day of the omer.  The Hebrew letters of “Lag” – “lamed” which … [Read more...]