Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dear friends (especially Pittsburgh and U.S friends).

Do I need to say more?
Come and visit Israel.

Have a great and Happy month of Adar.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It was a great Tu v’Shbat!

As I mentioned in my previous post, last week we celebrated Tu V’shbat, the “New Year of the Trees”. As part of the holiday I attended one school party with Batya, a gan (kindergarten) party with Ilan where he was dressed up as a gamad (dwarf) and a tiyul (excursion) I did with the kids and Rajel (our newest family member in Israel) to a hill 10 minutes walking distance from home.  Also a couple of weeks ago Rajel and I took a tour of Modiin old and new that was guided by Modiin’s deputy Mayor, the tour included some very cool views of the city as well as an ancient Maccabean synagogue that’s very close to our home.

Enjoy the photos:


During our Friday night Shabbat dinner Rajel prepared for us a Tu v’shbat seder where she explained to us and the kids about the Shivat Haminim (7 species) that are written on the Torah as special and holy produce of the land of Israel. We ate each of the species that Rajel bought at Machane Yehuda (remember the Sabra album Machane Yehuda edition?)

It was a great Tu v’shbat!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ma’aser for the first time

Last week we celebrated across Israel (as well as outside of Israel) Tu V’shbat, the “New Year of the Trees” which has become kind of the Earth day of the Jewish Holidays. This holiday takes such a different meaning when you live it in Israel. Not only because of all the dried fruit that is sold across the supermarkets but because it also represents the planting and growth of our land, the land of the Jewish nation.

Out of the 613 Mitzvot (commandments) we are given, several of them cannot be performed because we do not currently have the temple, others depend also on a Cohen (priest) performing them, others are gender specific, and others are dependant on being performed in the land of Israel.

A couple of months ago for the first time in my life I was able to fulfill the Mitzvah of Maaser (Tithe) which is made on any produce grown in Israel and is therefore a commandment that can only be performed in the land of Israel. It dates back to the giving of Tithe to the Levites (Maaser Rishon) as well as the gathering of Tithe to take to Jerusalem during the days of the Temple in certain years of the seven year cycle (Maaser Sheni).

Note: Consult your local Rabbi for details. :)

Below some pictures of us performing this unique Mitzvah for the first time in our lives.

Step 1: Gather the fruit - We are lucky to have in our garden oranges, lemons, passion fruit, olives and grapes. We gathered oranges and lemons this time.

From Ma'aser
From Ma'aser
From Ma'aser

Step 2 & 3: Cut small piece of each kind of fruit and say the brachot (blessings)

From Ma'aser

Step3: Put cut pieces on bag and let them go bad before throwing them away.

From Ma'aser

Step 4: Enjoy the fruit of the holy land (blessing of the fruit before eating of course)

From Ma'aser
From Ma'aser

Soon I will put some pictures of Tu V’shbat, kids school parties, a small tiyul (excursion) maybe tell you about the great Seder Tu V’shbat Rajel did for us and show you some nice pictures from a tour around Modiin with our Deputy mayor as a tour guide.

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