The word "kosher" literally means "fit" or "appropriate."
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.
Though often widely practiced, customs are not considered mandatory by traditional Jews.
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.
The Hebrew word for life is a popular symbol and toast — and is linked to the number 18.
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.
This video is featured in Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here.
What Is Tu B'Shvat And Why Do We Celebrate?
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.
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here.
By Jenna Weissman Joselit for Tablet Magazine
The Jewish New Year of the Trees demands little of us, but offers us a chance to connect our roots with good causes, new rituals, and recipes
If ever there was a holiday ripe for revitalization and collective embrace, it’s Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees. Falling smack in the middle of winter, when the weather is usually not at its best, the age-old festival, which some scholars date to the early Middle Ages, heralds the prospect of regeneration, of sunnier days ahead. That alone should commend it to North American Jews, lifting their spirits when they sag under the weight of gloves and hats and scarves, their movement impeded by the heavy tread of boots.
What is Rosh Chodesh?
How Jews Celebrate the First Day of Every Month
Rosh Chodesh is a minor Jewish holiday that happens on the first day of every month and literally translates to “head of the month”. Watch our explainer video to learn the significance of this monthly holiday.
This holiday has long been considered a special holiday for women. Some say that this is because women of Israel did not offer their jewelry for the creation of the Golden Galf so they were given Rosh Chodesh, a day when they could abstain from work. Others connect the lunar cycle of the holiday to a woman’s menstrual cycle. For thousands of years, Rosh Chodesh has been a holiday where women gather together for a variety of activities, from reciting prayers, to sharing a meal, discussing Jewish ethics and working for social change.
BY CLIVE LAWTON for MyJewishLearning
The tradition of Torah study has built up a tradition of questioning and clarifying which is simply an incomparably rich skill to cultivate.
By Jewish standards, the question “Why study Torah” is a very new one.
For a couple of millennia, studying Torah was just a given for male Jews. Of course you’d learn it — or at least read it in bite-sized chunks every Shabbat in synagogue, in a never-ending cycle where not only was the yearly reading finished and then immediately begun again on the Simchat Torah festival, but each week’s chunk was trailed on Shabbat afternoon with a little preview of the following week’s portion.
Temple Aliyah Welcomes You!
Temple Aliyah is an egalitarian Conservative congregation in Needham, Massachusetts, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. We are a dynamic and diverse community that embraces people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles. With the guidance of Rabbi Carl Perkins, we encourage our members to enrich their Jewish lives, to enhance their Jewish identities, and to engage in lifelong learning.
Join us for Shabbat services and schmooze during kiddush following services. Check out the exciting Temple Tots programming for our youngest members. Attend the Rabbi's Adult Education classes. Participate in one of our many Social Action projects. Become a member of our Sisterhood or Men's Club.
Not a member? We invite your family to join our family!
Did you know...?
Did you know that Cantor Linda Sue Sohn, Temple Aliyah’s B’nai Mitzvah Tutor, has been a contributor to the Torah Stitch by Stitch, a world-wide project the goal of which is to cross stitch by hand the five books of the Torah. Among her contributions to TSBS is Exodus 15:5-8, Parshat Beshalah. You can see a picture of her work here (popup window).
Want to learn more fun facts about Aliyah? Click here!
If you have a fun fact about Temple Aliyah you’d like to share with our community, please email [email protected].
Shabbat and Weekday Services
|Shabbat Morning Services||9:15 am|
|Sunday Morning Minyan*||9:00 am|
|Monday Morning Minyan||7:00 am|
|Weekday Evening Minyan*||7:30 pm|
* During the summer, minyan meets on Monday morning, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Under the direction of our Adult Education Committee and as part of our commitment to lifelong learning, Temple Aliyah offers a wide range of opportunities for our members and others to enrich their Jewish lives throughout education. Click here to see all of our current Adult Education offerings.
Sisterhood welcomes all women of our community, sharing our passion for Judaism, our families and ourselves. We invite you to learn more about becoming part of our amazing community. Whether you're looking for camaraderie, spiritual connection, social action, or the opportunity to get involved, Sisterhood is here for you. Click here to see our full calendar of events for 2018-19.