Looking Beyond Purim and the Megilla
By Peretz Goldstein for JPULSE in JewishBoston.com
Purim Begins the Evening of February 28, 2018
Have you ever wondered why Purim comes before Pesach?
Exactly 30 days after Purim, we celebrate the holiday of Pesach. Our Sages tell us that this is no coincidence. The juxtaposition of these two holidays is the theme of redemption; being saved. “Masmich geula le’geula” – connecting salvation to salvation.
The comparison of Pesach and Purim is clear. What we celebrate at Pesach time is another instance in Jewish history where the Jews were under extreme persecution, threatened to be wiped out, and were saved at the end of the day (that’s why we have a party and drink some le’chaims at the Seder night too!).
Want more information on Purim? Check out Jvillage Network's Purim Guide.
Your Guide to Reading the Hebrew Bible
Learn the many chapters that make up the Tanach and find out where you can find more information about each.
Have you always wanted to read the Bible, but didn’t know how to get started?
In addition to the myriad editions of the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanach ) available in book form, the entire Bible can be read in Hebrew and English on Sefaria, an online resource that enables users to search by keyword and provides links to commentaries and other related materials. Below, we outline the contents of the Bible, with links to our articles about each section.
We Need to Stop Using the Phrase “More Jewish”
BY RACHEL MINKOWSKY for Kveller
My family joined a synagogue a few months ago, and overall it’s been wonderful for us. But after our first family Shabbat service, I realized I had a lot to learn. And I wanted to learn. I wanted to be a good example for both my children, but especially my 7-year-old, who was thriving in Hebrew school.
Somewhere during a frantic, late-night Google search for Jewish classes and seminars, I stumbled upon a group called JInspire. They were linked with the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, a group that offers trips to Israel for Jewish mothers. The trip is a different concept than Birthright. Participants in JWRP trips are expected to regularly engage with the group that accepts them. There are challah bakes, workshops, even Mommy and Me events. It sounded amazing. My husband completely supported my desire to apply.
Jewish Custom (Minhag) Versus Law (Halacha)
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.
Customs cover an extremely wide range of Jewish rituals, from variations in the order or language of particular prayers to swinging a chicken over one’s head prior to Yom Kippur to the nearly universal practice of smashing a glass at the conclusion of a wedding ceremony. Customs typically have folk origins, but there are instances in which they may have been imposed by religious authorities. Other customs were maintained for so long and adopted so widely that they have become enshrined as obligations in Jewish legal codes and are no longer, strictly speaking, customs at all. Still others may have been adapted from practices of the cultures in which Jews lived and were only later sanctioned by Jewish authorities.
Tu B’Shevat 2018
In 2018, the "birthday of the trees" begins at sundown on Tuesday, Jan. 30 and ends at sundown on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
In 2018, the “birthday of the trees” begins at sundown on Tuesday, Jan. 30 and ends at sundown on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
Tu B’Shevat or the “birthday” of all fruit trees, is a minor festival. The name is Hebrew for the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat.
In ancient times, Tu B’Shevat was merely a date on the calendar that helped Jewish farmers establish exactly when they should bring their fourth-year produce of fruit from recently planted trees to the Temple as first-fruit offerings
Find some great ideas on JvillageNetwork's Pinterest page.