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  ARTICLE : HOLY DAYS
TUESDAY, 12 ADARII, 5779





 

 

 

 

 











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The Jewish Holy Days: Part III
By Jerry Katz - December 15, 2008


Boris Dubrov: Passover
The spring brings new hope and life to all things and of course for the Jews brings a new set of holy days to commemorate their religion and history. There are three notable spring holy days, Tu B'Shvat, Purim, and Passover. Tu B'Shvat is considered one of the four dates on the Jewish calendar that marks a perspective beginning in the year. Its name comes from the date on which it is celebrated, namely the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat, usually in late January or early February. Tu B'Shvat is normally known as a minor festival and in ancient times was set aside to mark the beginning of springtime in the Holy Lands.

Tu B'Shvat, also known as "New Year for Trees." is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in Israel awake from winter begin their new fruit-bearing cycle. It also has a legal connotation in that it represents the time when various tithes that must be separated from produce grown in the Holy Land. It is marked by eating fruit, especially fruits that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. On Tu B'Shvat Jews remember that "Man is a tree of the field" (Deuteronomy 20:19) and try to reflect on the lessons that they can derive from the tree and plants around them.

Purim
Purim is the Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jews of Persia from a massacre that had been planned against them. It falls on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Adar, usually in March one month before Passover. One of the major features of Purim is the reading from the Book of Esther or the "Megilla" which tells the story of a series of events that happen during a nine year period during the rule of King Ahasuerus of ancient Babylon.
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