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  • TU B’SHEVAT FEATURE (1) Sources offer varying interpretations of trees

    WAYLAND, Mass., Jan. 27 (JTA) — On the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, the New Year for trees is celebrated. According to Webster’s Deluxe Unabridged Dictionary, a tree is “a woody, perennial plant with one main stem or trunk which develops many branches.” So, on Tu B’Shevat, we celebrate oak trees, maple…

  • TU B’SHEVAT FEATURE (1) Sources offer varying interpretations of trees

    WAYLAND, Mass., Jan. 27 (JTA) — On the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, the New Year for trees is celebrated. According to Webster’s Deluxe Unabridged Dictionary, a tree is “a woody, perennial plant with one main stem or trunk which develops many branches.” So, on Tu B’Shevat, we celebrate oak trees, maple…

  • TU B’SHEVAT FEATURE (1) Sources offer varying interpretations of trees

    WAYLAND, Mass., Jan. 27 (JTA) — On the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, the New Year for trees is celebrated. According to Webster’s Deluxe Unabridged Dictionary, a tree is “a woody, perennial plant with one main stem or trunk which develops many branches.” So, on Tu B’Shevat, we celebrate oak trees, maple…

  • FEATURE (3) Miracle of lights can inspire steps for personal achievement

    WAYLAND, Mass., Dec. 3 (JTA) — They say a miracle happened long ago. They say the oil in a lamp in the newly rededicated Temple in Jerusalem — all the fuel that could be found — was enough to burn for only one day, but instead it lasted two days, and then three. The oil…

  • ROSH HASHANAH FEATURE (7) Digging deep within oneself helps process of forgiveness

    WAYLAND, Mass., Aug. 14 (JTA) — Students in an advanced adult Hebrew language class were discussing what the High Holidays meant to them. Said one young man, “It’s good to have one day during the year when I stop and really think about what I have done.” One day. Is one day enough? Perhaps sometimes….

  • Sacred lights inspire actions based on Jewish spirituality

    WAYLAND, Mass., Nov. 11 (JTA) — Each night for eight nights, at the darkest time of year, we light a candle. We recite blessings, uniquely Jewish. We speak of the victory of the small band of Maccabees over the giant Greek army. We recount the stories of the rededication of the Temple, and of the…

  • TU B’SHEVAT FEATURE Winter holiday celebrates the contributions of trees

    WAYLAND, Mass., Dec. 22 (JTA) — Many American Jews may find it difficult to imagine April 15, the tax deadline, as a spiritual holiday, celebrated with special ceremonies, prayers and foods. But a Jewish holiday that usually falls in late January or February is connected to the idea of taxation. In addition, the holiday is…

  • PURIM FEATURE (2) Emotional growth can result from wearing a mask on Purim

    WAYLAND, Mass., Feb. 23 (JTA) — The invitation to the Purim party is explicit: “Preferable: Come in costume. Acceptable: Masquerade in a mask. Minimally admissible: Bring a bonnet.” Does one grumble and groan, and finally leave the house in street clothes? Does one rush to pull together a clever and exciting costume, an expression of…

  • PASSOVER FEATURE (2) Crossing the sea every day to confront life’s challenges

    WAYLAND, Mass., March 11 (JTA) — Three thousand years ago, the Israelites crossed the Sea of Reeds — once. Today, the Haggadah instructs us to experience the seder as though we are leaving Egypt — every year of our lives. Why is it that the Israelites had to face that sea, with the Egyptian soldiers…

  • TU B’SHEVAT FEATURE Winter holiday celebrates the contributions of trees

    WAYLAND, Mass., Dec. 22 (JTA) — Many American Jews may find it difficult to imagine April 15, the tax deadline, as a spiritual holiday, celebrated with special ceremonies, prayers and foods. But a Jewish holiday that usually falls in late January or February is connected to the idea of taxation. In addition, the holiday is…