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Chag Ha-Ilanot Sameach — Happy Festival of the Trees

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

It was hard to create the kind of vibrant Jewish home I wanted for my children when I was so busy bringing Judaism to others.

I couldn’t find the time. I lacked the energy.

So I see it as a blessing that my new “career” affords me the time (actual, mental, emotional) to infuse our home with the Yiddishe ta’am, best translated as ‘Jewish flavour,’ that surrounded me as a child.

Today is Tu BiShvat – the birthday of the trees. A beautiful explanation, written by one of my Rabbis Without Borders colleagues AND a fellow IC alumna, can be found here. Taking inspiration from some of my rebbes (Ima on the Bima and Homeshuling, I’m looking at you!), we enjoyed a Tu BiShvat feast last night. An aromatic meal with herbs and seasonings from the land of Israel, rounded off with a fruity fondue.

Will this one moment be THE ONE that they recall when they are parents themselves? Who knows. For now, PC and I enjoyed watching them discover how yummy fondue can be. And which fruits they liked the most when dipped in chocolate. And catching one of them (any guesses??) eating forkfulls of just chocolate. A sweet way to begin the holiday.

Conversations about the importance of trees and what we can do to protect God’s gifts. Acknowledging the many, many ways our lives are enhanced by nature.

And before school began, a song and hug for a dear friend.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, 8 February 2012 2:21 pm

    Lovely! I think trees should definitely get more hugs. When I was a ranger taking elementary students on forest walks, there was one tree near the trail that I would suggest the kids might want to hug. Several children would take me up on the offer. Then I began to wonder if the other trees might be getting jealous. Silly, I know, but I do believe there is an exchange of energy between living organisms and a hug can’t hurt.

    I love the first line of your post. No one can be all things and do all things all at once. I’m glad you have an opportunity now to use your energy in new, rewarding ways in your new home.

  2. Wednesday, 8 February 2012 4:06 pm

    Love this. I love that forkfuls of chocolate were consumed :-)
    Tu BiShvat is one of those wonderful holidays that have such nice loose “rules” that we can have so much fun with it!!!! I hope this is part of the rich tapestry of memories that your kids bring to adulthood. xo

    P.S. Did you find the Zaatar you needed????

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