Religious School Monthly Message
Nancy Hersh's February Message
Religious School is getting ready to enjoy the holiday of Tu B’shevat, which celebrates the New Year of the Trees. The reason that we need a holiday for trees is because according to Jewish law, you are not supposed to cut down a tree, or eat its fruit for the first 3 years. But since it’s hard to track down exactly when each tree was planted, Tu B’shevat (the 15th day of the month of Shevat) was set aside as “New Year” of trees. Since all trees are considered one year older on this day, we call this holiday
the “Birthday of the Trees.”
Though a minor holiday, it is one that is a lot of fun! There are several customs associated with this holiday. One is to eat fruits and nuts, another is to plant trees and think about our environment, and of course we all know about the fun of the Tu B’shevat seder. Where did this idea come from? The ancient mystics, or Kabbalists, developed a seder, patterned after the Passover seder, where they would ask 4 questions, drink 4 cups of wine, and eat symbolic fruits. Rabbi Itzhak Luria and his disciples were the originators of the Tu B’shevat seder. They believed that this ritual would bring people closer to a sense of spiritual perfection. Here’s an interesting tidbit – at some seders, there is a cup of wine for Elijah, and the door is open to invite the Prophet Elijah, just like we do on Passover.
The RS Visioning committee has been hard at work, planning a new, exciting, creative approach for our children. Please join us on Saturday, February 4th at 9:00 to hear our presentation. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, and share some of your own thoughts.
Dates to remember:
Sat., Feb. 4 RS Parents Meeting for Grades K-6
Sat., Feb. 11 Grades K-7
Tu B’Shevat Program
Sun., Feb. 12 Confirmation Class @ 11:00
Sat., Feb. 18-Sat., Feb. 25 No School- President’s Holiday
Sat., Feb. 25 Bat Mitzvah – Leah Rubinshteyn