Welcome to the JOFA Tu Bi’Shevat Lit. Order. The festive meal conducted on Passover night, in a specific order with specific rituals to symbolize aspects of the Exodus from Egypt. It is conducted following the haggadah, a book for this purpose. The mystics of Sefat also created a seder for Tu B'shvat, the new year of the trees.
Tu Bi’Shevat is the new year for trees.1 While it may not feel like spring, an essential mystical approach is that on the 15th of Shevat, the sap begins to flow within the trees and plants of Lit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel.—invisible to the human eye, but marking the beginning of spring nonetheless.
In the 16th century, kabbalists living in Safed incorporated some structural aspects of the Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc). seder and performed a Tu B’Shevat seder. It is more accurate to call the text a “tikkun“ rather than a Lit. "Telling.” The haggadah is the book used at the seder table on Passover to tell the story of the Exodus, the central commandment of the holiday. It is rich in song, prayer, and legend. There are many different version of the Haggadah produced throughout Jewish history., since there was no real “telling” of a story, the hallmark of the Passover haggadah. Instead, they offered the prayer that their words succeed in fixing the world, that their words spiritually repair the Jewish nation and the individual soul.2
These mystics sought to uncover hidden mysteries of God’s wondrous creation of trees and fruits through relevant pesukim, midrashim, The equation of Hebrew letters to numbers and the derivation of meaning from these equations. For instance, Jacob, in Genesis 28, dreams of a ladder on which angels ascend and descend from heaven to earth. A ladder, in Hebrew sulam, has the numerical value of 130 – samech 60, lamed 30, mem 40 – which is equivalent to Sinai – samech 60, yud 10, nun 50, yud 10. This means, according to gematria, that the ladder in Jacob’s dream was in fact Sinai or that this revelation was a precursor to God’s revelation to Moses at Sinai., and observations of nature. What, for example, does it teach us about the nature of the universe that God created some fruits with inedible shells (pomegranates, oranges, grapefruits), some with inedible pits (dates, olives), and others that can be eaten whole (grapes, raisins, figs)?3
One of the earliest texts, entitled, “Pri Etz Hadar“ (translated as “Fruit of the Beautiful Tree”) centers around the A lemon-like fruit (citron) used at Sukkot as one of the four species. Women desiring to get pregnant were given the pitom (stem) to eat after Sukkot.. The kabbalists prayed for a bountiful year and trees that would produce beautiful etrogim for Lit. Booths or huts Sukkot is the autumn harvest Festival of Booths, is celebrated starting the 15th of the Jewish month of Tishrei. Jews build booths (sukkot), symbolic of the temporary shelters used by the ancient Israelites when they wandered in the desert. Traditionally, Jews eat and sleep in the sukkah for the duration of the holiday (seven days in Israel and eight outside of Israel). The lulav (palm frond), willow, myrtle, and etrog fruit are also waved together.. They included 4 cups of wine, each of a different color, to symbolize the changing seasons.
During the course of this evening we will also drink 4 cups of wine, from white to red, and eat 15 various fruits, nuts and grains beginning with the shivat ha-minim, the seven species for which the The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general. praises the land of Israel.
We have divided our seder into four sections, beginning with pesukim related to the various fruit, and ending with a cup of wine. The First Cup of wine is white, a symbol of winter. We will discuss the origins of the Tu Bi’Shevat seder. We will also partake of wheat, barley and olives and discuss the seven species, shiv’at haminim.
The Second Cup of wine is a lightly tinted pink, symbolizing the first signs of spring and the budding of trees in Israel. We will look at some of the similarities between God’s creation of trees, their fruit and our own characteristics as individuals and as Jews. We will complete the seven species by eating dates, grapes, figs and pomegranates.
The Third Cup of wine is a darker rose-colored pink, as the trees and flowers continue to blossom. For this cup we will eat apples, pears, walnuts, almonds and apricots.
The Fourth Cup of wine is red, representing fruitfulness and abundance. We will discuss the seeds of redemption, Eretz Yisrael, and the messianic era. We will partake of carob, oranges and grapefruit—fruits associated with Israel.
We will begin by taking the First Cup of wine and inviting those called to read a section in turn:
THE FIRST CUP: Origins of the Tu Bi’Shevat Seder
Please take a cup of white wine.
Tu Bi’Shevat (or the 15th day in the month of Shevat—“tet-vav“ are the Hebrew letters that have the numerical value of 15) begins the counting of the new year for trees and their fruit regarding different tithes to be brought each year. Tu B’Shevat took on a more festive character for the Jews in Lit. Exile Since the destruction of the Temple, Jews have been in a state of galut, exiled from their land. This has been understood as a spiritual as well as physical state. Traditionally, Jews have longed for the coming of the messiah to end the long exile. Others feel that it has ended with the advent of the State of Israel, while still others see the State of Israel as a step on the way to redemption., who used the occasion to celebrate and praise the Land of Israel and the renewal of the soil and its produce. We learn about the seven species for which the Torah praises Israel in Devarim 8:7–8:
For the Lord your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil, and honey.
כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, מְבִיאֲךָ אֶל-אֶרֶץ טוֹבָה: אֶרֶץ, נַחֲלֵי מָיִם–עֲיָנֹת וּתְהֹמֹת, יֹצְאִים בַּבִּקְעָה וּבָהָר אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה, וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה. וְרִמּוֹן; אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ
Ki Adonay eloheykha m’viakha el eretz tovah. Eretz nakhley mayim–ayanot u’thomot yotzim babikah u’va’har eretz khitah u’shorah v’gefen u’teynah. V’rimon eretz zet shemen u’dvash.
SONG: SHIVAT HAMINIM
Shabkhi yerushalayim et Adonay; haleli elohayikh tzion
Ki khizak b’rikhey sh’arayikh; beyrach banayikh b’kirbekh.
Please take a wheat cracker:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי מְזוֹנוֹת
Barukh attah Adonay, Eloheynu melekh ha-olam, borey miney m’zonot.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Kind of the Universe, who created various kinds of food.
(Please take some Barley. As you have already said the blessing, you can eat without an additional blessing.)
Barley is the first grain to ripen each year. We start counting the From the second day of Passover until Shavuot, Jews count seven weeks – seven times seven days – to commemorate the period between the Exodus from Egypt and the Revelation at Sinai. When the Temple stood, a certain measure (omer) of barley was offered on the altar each day; today, we merely count out the days. in approximate correspondence with the start of the barley harvest, and end with the start of the wheat harvest. The story of An important female biblical character with her own book. The Book of Ruth, read on Shavuot, tells the story of Ruth’s devotion to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and their return to Israel. Ruth’s story is often read as the first story of conversion. Ruth is the grandmother of King David. takes place against the backdrop of the barley harvest:
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab; and they came to Beth-Lehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. (Ruth 1:22)
וַתָּשָׁב נָעֳמִי, וְרוּת הַמּוֹאֲבִיָּה כַלָּתָהּ עִמָּהּ, הַשָּׁבָה, מִשְּׂדֵי מוֹאָב; וְהֵמָּה, בָּאוּ בֵּית לֶחֶם, בִּתְחִלַּת, קְצִיר שְׂעֹרִים
Va’tashav Na’ami v’Rut hamoaviyah khlatah imah, hashavah, mishdey moav; v’heymah ba’u beyt lekhem bitkhilat k’tzir sh’orim.
Olive oil is a source of holy light, both as the “eternal light” (the “Candle tamid“) as well as the light on Chanukah:
The Torah specifies that the oil of olives be used for the ner tamid:
And you shall command the people of Israel, that they bring you pure beaten olive oil for the light, for the lamp to burn always. In the Tent of Meeting outside the veil, which is before the Testimony, Brother of Moses, chosen as Moses' interlocutor. His Hebrew name is Aharon. and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the Lord; it shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the people of Israel. (Shemot 27:20-21)
וְאַתָּה תְּצַוֶּה אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן זַיִת זָךְ כָּתִית–לַמָּאוֹר: לְהַעֲלֹת נֵר, תָּמִיד. בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד מִחוּץ לַפָּרֹכֶת אֲשֶׁר עַל-הָעֵדֻת, יַעֲרֹךְ אֹתוֹ אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו מֵעֶרֶב עַד-בֹּקֶר–לִפְנֵי יְהוָה: חֻקַּת עוֹלָם לְדֹרֹתָם, מֵאֵת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
V’atah t’tzavey et b’ney yisrael, v’yik’khu eyleykha shemen zayit zakh katit–la’maor: L’ha’alot ner tamid. B’ohel moed mikhutz laparokhet asher al ha’eydut ya’arokh oto Brother of Moses, chosen as Moses' interlocutor. His Hebrew name is Aharon. u’vanav meyerev ad boker–lifney Adonay: Khukat olam l’dorotam, mey’et b’ney yisrael.
And, of course, the olive branch is the universal symbol of peace.
Please take an olive and say the blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ
Barukh attah Adonay, Eloheynu melekh ha-olam, borey p’ri ha-etz.
Blessed are You, God our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה
Blessed are you, God, our God, King of the universe,
Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
Lift the first cup of wine:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן
Barukh attah Adonay, Eloheynu melekh ha-olam, borey p’ri ha-gafen.
Blessed are you, God our God, King of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.
We take the Second Cup of Wine, a lightly tinted color. Please take and eat the rest of the fruits and nuts as they are mentioned.4
THE SECOND CUP: People and Trees.
“D’vash” refers to date honey and not bee honey (Rashi) and, thus, dates from the date palm tree are considered to be among the seven species.
This Shabbat is the Sabbath day, the Day of Rest, and is observed from Friday night through Saturday night. Is set aside from the rest of the week both in honor of the fact that God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. On Shabbat, many Jews observe prohibitions from various activities designated as work. Shabbat is traditionally observed with festive meals, wine, challah, prayers, the reading and studying of Torah, conjugal relations, family time, and time with friends., we will read the The portion of the books of the prophets read on Shabbat after the Torah reading. The two usually have parallel themes. of Devorah, who judged Israel as she sat under a palm tree5:
And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, judged Israel at that time. And she lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth-El in Mount Ephraim; and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. (Judges 4:4)
וּדְבוֹרָה אִשָּׁה נְבִיאָה, אֵשֶׁת לַפִּידוֹת–הִיא שֹׁפְטָה אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל, בָּעֵת הַהִיא. וְהִיא יוֹשֶׁבֶת תַּחַת-תֹּמֶר דְּבוֹרָה, בֵּין הָרָמָה וּבֵין בֵּית-אֵל–בְּהַר אֶפְרָיִם; וַיַּעֲלוּ אֵלֶיהָ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לַמִּשְׁפָּט
U’D’vorah ishah n’viah eshet lapidot hi shoftah et yisrael ba’et ha’hi. V’hi yoshevet takhat tomer D’vorah, beyn haramah u’beyn beit el b’har Efraim v’ya’alu eyleyha b’ney yisrael, l’mishpat.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree, as a cedar in Lebanon. Those that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. (Tehillim 92:13)
SONG: TZADIK K’TAMAR YIFRAKH
Tzadik kattamar yifrakh k’erez ba-l’vanon yisgeh. Sh’tulim b’veyt Lit. The Name, referring to the ineffable name of God; used as a substitute for any of the more sacred names of God when not speaking in prayer. Particularly used in conversation. b’khatzrot Elokeynu yaf’rikhu.
כַּעֲנָבִים בַּמִּדְבָּר, מָצָאתִי יִשְׂרָאֵל–כְּבִכּוּרָה בִתְאֵנָה בְּרֵאשִׁיתָהּ, רָאִיתִי אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם; הֵמָּה בָּאוּ בַעַל-פְּעוֹר, וַיִּנָּזְרוּ לַבֹּשֶׁת, וַיִּהְיוּ שִׁקּוּצִים, כְּאָהֳבָם
K’a’navim bamidbar matzati yisrael k’vikorah vitanah b’reyshitah raiti avoteykhem heymah ba’u ba’al p’or v’yinazru laboshet va’yih’yu shikutzim l’a’havam.
“Why is Israel compared to a grapevine? When you want to improve its fruit, you dig it up and replant it elsewhere and it improves. So, when the Holy One wanted to make Israel known in the world, what did he do? He uprooted them from Egypt and brought them to the wilderness where they flourished. They received the Torah and became known throughout the world.” (Shemot Raba 44)
The fig is traditionally associated with peace:
וְיָשְׁבוּ, אִישׁ תַּחַת גַּפְנוֹ וְתַחַת תְּאֵנָתוֹ–וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד: כִּי-פִי יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, דִּבֵּר. הכִּי, כָּל-הָעַמִּים, יֵלְכוּ, אִישׁ בְּשֵׁם אֱלֹהָיו; וַאֲנַחְנוּ, נֵלֵךְ בְּשֵׁם-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ–לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד
V’yashvu ish takhat gafno v’takhat t’eynato v’eyn makharid: Ki fi Adonay tz’vaot diber. Haki kol ha’amim yeykhu ish b’shem elohav. V’anachnu neylekh b’shem Adonaoy eloheynu l’olam va’ed.
Our sages have found many beautiful reasons to compare the fig tree to Torah:
“Why is the Torah compared to a fig tree? Because most trees—olive, grape, date—have their fruit picked all at once, but the fig fruit is picked little by little—so it is with the Torah: one learns a little of it one day and more the next, for it cannot all be learned in one year or two.” (Bamidbar Raba 12:9)
לָמָּה נִמְשְׁלָה תּוֹרָה כַּתְּאֵנָה שֶׁרֹב הָאִילָנוֹת הַזַּיִת הַגֶּפֶן הַתְמָרָה נִלְקַטִים כְּאַחַת וְהַתְּאֵנָה נִלְקֶטֶת מְעַט מְעַט וְכָךְ הַתּוֹרָה הַיּוֹם לוֹמֵד מְעַט וְלַמָּחָר הַרְבֵּה לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָהּ מִתְלַמֶדֶת לֹא הַשָּׁנָה וְלֹא בַּשָּׁתִים
Lamah nimsh’lah torah kateynah sherov hailanot hazayit hagefen hatmarah nilkatim k’akhat v’hateynah niketet m’at m’at v’khakh hatorah hayom hayom lomed m’at v’lamakhar harbey l’fi she’eynah mitlamedet lo hashanah v’lo b’shamayim.
“Why were the words of the Torah compared to the fig tree? As with the fig tree, the more one searches [the tree] the more figs one finds; so it is with the words of the Torah; the more one studies them the more meaning one finds in them. (Eruvin 4 a,b)
Lkha dodi neytzey hadshdey nalinah ba’k’farim. Nishkimah lakramim nirey im parkha hagefen pitakh hasmadar heyneytzu harimonim sham eyten et doday lakh.
“Has the pomegranate blossomed?’ These are the schoolchildren who sit and study torah, row by row, like pomegranate seeds.” (Shir Hashirim Raba 6,17)
The A rabbinic method of interpreting text, often through the telling of stories. in Song of Songs Raba 6 likens the people of Israel to a walnut pile to show how we are all influenced by each other. If one walnut is removed, each and every walnut in the pile will be shaken.
We drink the Second Cup of Wine. (Since we have already said the blessing on the first cup of wine, we need not make another blessing on the other cups.)
Please take the Third Cup of Wine.
THE THIRD CUP: A Time for Every Season…
There is a time to plant trees, Kohelet teaches, and a time to uproot. Indeed, there is a time and season for every purpose. Often the question is, in which time do we live?
On this coming Shabbat, Shabbat Shirah, we will read of Yitzyiat Lit. Egypt. Because the Hebrew word for narrow is tzar, Mitzrayim is also understood as "narrowness," as in, the narrow and confining places in life from which one emerges physically and spiritually., a glorious time for Am Yisrael. Shirat Hayam, ends with Miriam’s song, in which she is called a “prophetess” and leads the women in song and dance to the accompaniment of timbrels6. Rashi writes that the righteous women of that generation possessed great insight and faith. So certain were they that God would bring them out of Egypt and perform miracles, that they brought their instruments with them out of Egypt7. They had faith that they would be singing a song of victory, that it would be, in the words of Kohelet, a time to dance.
Hatam Sofer implies that the women possess a higher level of faith that sustained them during times of challenge8. He writes that when The quintessential Jewish leader who spoke face to face with God, unlike any other prophet, and who freed the people from Egypt, led them through the desert for forty years, and received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. His Hebrew name is Moshe. ascended According to the Torah, God, in the presence of the Jewish people, gave Moses the Torah on Mount Sinai (Har Sinai)., the men feared that Moshe would not return and perhaps for this reason built the golden calf. The women understood, however, that even had Moshe not returned, there would be another prophet with whom the Shechinah would rest.
This Shabbat also includes the Song of Devorah in the Haftorah. She is also a model of great faith and insight—she led the nation through a time of war, and then on to a time of peace.
The apple tree has a special fragrance:
“And the apple tree has the fragrance of Gan Eden and the fragrance of Gan Eden was that of a field of apples.” (Ta’anit 29b)
Jewish women gave birth to their children in the field in Egypt under apple trees. This is one reason the Often used synonymously with Talmud, although the Talmud actually contains both the Gemara and the Mishna. The Gemara is the compendium of rabbinic thought collected and redacted in Babylon between 200 and 500 CE. gives for requiring The fruit and nut paste included in the Passover seder to represent the mortar the Israelite slaves used in Egypt. In Ashkenazic tradition, nuts are ground with apples and wine to make haroset for the Passover seder plate. Sephardic and other Middle-Eastern haroset typically uses dates as the base, often seasoned with ground ginger or cinnamon. at the Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc). seder:
R. Eleazar son of R. Zadok said: Charoset is a religious requirement. Why is it a religious requirement? R. Levi said: In memory of the apple-tree under which the Jewish women in Egypt gave birth to their children. (Pesachim II6a)
And the Gemara teaches (Sotah IIb) that “the reward for the righteous women who lived in that generation was that the Israelites were delivered from Egypt”. Those women realized the importance of continuing to ensure the survival of Am Yisrael despite demoralization and degradation. They understood the time in which they lived and had faith that Am Yisrael would be redeemed.
SONG: LeKol Zeman (A Time for every Season)
We drink the third cup of wine.
Please take the Fourth Cup of Wine.
THE FOURTH CUP: Israel, Renewal and Redemption
R. Yohanan Ben Zakai used to say: “If you have a sapling in your hand and they tell you ‘The Messiah is coming!’ first plant the sapling and then go to greet him.” (Avot D’Rabi Natan)
רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֵּן זַכָּאי הָיָה אוֹמֵר אִם הָיְתָה נְטִיעָה בְּתוֹךְ יָדֶךָ וְיֹאמְרוּ לְךָ הֲרֵי לְךָ הַמָּשִׁיחַ בֹּא וְנָטַע הַנְּטִיעָה וְאֶחָד כָּךְ צֵא וְהַקְבִּילֵהוּ
Rabi yokhanan beyn zakai hayah omer im hitah n’tiah b’tokh yadeykha v’yomru l’kha harey l’kha hamashiakh bo v’nata hantiah v’ekhad kakh tzey v’hak’bileyhu.
Trees are called an “everlasting Ot” or “sign” from Lit. The Name, referring to the ineffable name of God; used as a substitute for any of the more sacred names of God when not speaking in prayer. Particularly used in conversation., like the rainbow.9
Once Honi the circle-maker was walking on the road and saw a man planting a carob tree. He said to him: “In how many years will this tree give fruit?” He answered: “In seventy years.” Honi asked him, “Are you so healthy that you will live seventy years and eat its fruit?” And he replied, ” I found the world full of carob trees when I came into it, and as my fathers planted for me, so will I plant for my children.” (Taanit 23A)
These are the last of the 15 fruits. They symbolize our return to Eretz Yisrael and its renewal and rejuvenation. The blooming of Israel, with the flourishing of trees and fruit therein, has been described as the clearest possible sign that the Messiah is coming:
R. Father also said: There can be no more manifest [sign of] redemption than this… When Eretz Yisrael becomes so very fertile, Mashiach’s coming is near, and there can be no clearer sign than this (Rashi). (Sanhedrin 98a)
We spoke before we began our seder of the spiritual hashkafa of the kabbalists. Central to their celebration of Tu B’shevat was the prayer that God provide a beautiful etrog for the coming Sukkot. In closing, we would like to add that a unique characteristic of the etrog tree is that it is constantly adorned with its fruit because the fruit takes several years to ripen. Thus, it is a tree that is never bare; the ripe fruit remains on the tree while the new fruit appears. (See Rashi, Vayikra 23:40 and Ramban, Malbim and Biur on this pasuk.)
May we, too, merit to always find the Torah, our Etz Chaim, adorned with new fruit, like the etrog tree.
May we have the privilege of continuing to discover new understanding and insight as one who searches for and finds the fruit of the fig tree.
May we find the holiness and faith that guided the noble women praised on Shabbat Shirah as Am Yisrael today faces a time of great uncertainty.
May God guide us and our leaders down the path of faith, Lit. Commandment. It is traditionally held that there are 613 mitzvot (plural) in Judaism, both postive commandments (mandating actions) and negative commandments (prohibiting actions). Mitzvah has also become colloquially assumed to mean the idea of a “good deed.", love of Israel, Jerusalem, our people and peace…
Before you leave tonight please be sure to pick up a package of parsley seeds that you can plant in your home. Plant the seeds soon so that they can grow by Pesakh.
We hope that you will use the parsley at your seder where again we recount the glory of yitziyat Mitzrayim and Shirat HaYam when we stood together as one people, Am Yisrael, Kadosh u-mikudash.
Let us drink the fourth cup of wine and pray.
לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם הַבְּנוּיָה
NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM
Republished with permission by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.