From the Desk - T'U B'Shvat
Shalom Friends! We are very excited for this week's special Kehilla (Community) Shabbat. This Shabbat is Shabbat Shira on which we read about the crossing of the sea and the song that the Children of Israel sang to give thanks for their liberation. In honour of this Shabbat, we are excited to be joined by the Beth Ora choir who will raise our spirits with beautiful singing. Not only that, I am announcing here for the first time that there will be a very special treat at the end of the service which will include the personalities pictured below!
Next Monday is T"U B'Shvat and you can find out all about it in the section below. In the meantime, we wish you all Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami
What's the Deal with... T"U B'Shvat? The name T"U B'Shvat is derived from the Hebrew date of the holiday, which occurs on the 15th Shevat. "TU" is composed of the Hebrew letters 'tet' and 'vav' which together have the numerical value of nine and six, adding up to 15. In halachic terms, the 15th Shevat was the date for calculating the beginning of the agricultural cycle for the purpose of biblical tithes. To take just one example of this, which has relevance to this day: Fruit that ripens on a three-year old tree before T"U B'Shvat is forbidden to eat. Fruit ripening on or after T"U B'Shvat of the tree's third year is permitted. In the Middle Ages, T"U B'Shvat took on a new significance. The 16th century Kabbalist, known as the Arizal, and his disciples instituted a T"U B'Shvat seder in which the fruits and trees of the Land of Israel were given symbolic meaning. In modern day Israel, the T"U B'Shvat seder has been revived and is now celebrated by many Jews, both religious and secular. Some chassidic Jews pickle or candy their etrog after Sukkot and eat it on T"U B'Shvat.