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Mizrakhi Cookies on a blue and white plate with flowers behind

Mizrakhi Purim Treats

https://vimeo.com/513883138 Sambusak and B’ab’a B’tamer, two traditional Iraqi Purim treats that celebrate Queen Esther’s hiding of her Jewish heritage from the king, are demonstrated by Adva Chattler, who lovingly learned them from her savta (grandmother).  Watch the video above and download the recipe here. B’ab’a – B’tamer: Iraqi Cookies for Purim Ingredients Dough4 cups

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The Guide to Jewish Practice, set of 3

Guide to Jewish Practice Resource: Tu B’Shvat

Tu Bishvat takes its name from the date of its observance on the Hebrew calendar—the 15th day of the month of Sh’vat, which falls in January or February. Tu Bishvat is also known as the New Year for Trees, which is how it is described in the Mishna (Rosh Hashana 1.1) because it is the date from which the age of trees was counted, determining when fruit tithes were owed in the days of the Temple. This date was selected because trees flowered after it. In Israel, where the winters are relatively mild, the date also marks the beginning of the tree-planting season.

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A Video Poem for Your Tu B’Shvat Seder

Tu B’Shvat is known as the Jewish New Year of the trees. The holiday was originally connected to agricultural offerings brought to the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, and this date determined when the crop year would begin and end.  It was revitalized by the kabbalists of Tzfat in the 16th century, with the invention of the Tu B’Shvat seder, where we eat and bless symbolic foods and drink four cups of wine. The intention is to draw down divine shefa—abundance or spiritual sustenance—through the act of blessing and eating these foods. Tu B’Shvat was later revived again through the Zionist movement of the 19th and 20th centuries, connecting it to tree planting in the land of Israel. Today, Jewish environmentalists use Tu B’Shvat as a time to reflect on our connection to the earth and our obligations to protect it.  

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Light One Candle for Justice with Rabbi Lily Solochek

Each night of Hanukkah we add more light to our menorah, and this year we commit to adding more light to the world as well. In this session, we will reflect on the social justice work that we want to engage in and ground our action in spiritual practice. We will use song, learning and ritual to create intentions for each night of Hanukkah that will guide us in our efforts for justice.

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screen shot of zoom session with Rabbi Donna Kirshbaum

On Hanukkah and the Use of Force with Rabbi Donna Kirshbaum

Despite all the corny but mild holiday songs – not to mention the Sages’ emphasis on the miracle of the oil in a desperately dark time – our tradition has never stopped valorizing the combat undertaken by the Maccabees to oust the Seleucid Empire from our Holy Land. We will first consider the historical use of Hanukkah as a template for an armed response but end by learning about a new response to the violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as practiced by Women Wage Peace, Israel’s largest grassroots peace movement, and its new Palestinian counterpart, Women of the Sun.

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Person cutting open aruk (Iraqi latke) next to apple sauce, hummus and sour cream.

Aruk – Iraqi Vegetable Fried Patties

Have you ever made aruk for Hanukkah? While there is no requirement to make any specific dish on Hanukkah, it’s customary for us to remember the miracle of the oil by eating fried foods. A well-loved recipe in my house, aruk are Iraqi vegetable fried patties – very similar to their cousin, the latkes. Aruk are delicious, easy to make and will be a great addition to your latke platter.

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