Though the summer is long gone, and depending where you live, the trees might be changing colors, there may even be snow on the ground - some of the people I meet are still "smarting" from their camp experience.
German artist, Albrecht Dürer's woodcut "Samson Slaying the Lion" (1497-98) shows the warrior-prophet with the unkempt hair and beard of a Nazarite, sitting on the back of a lion, whose jaws he pulls apart.
QUESTION: This year Tu B'Shevat falls on Shabbat. I recall that you discussed this holiday a while back, but since it falls on Shabbat this year, could you please review the topic again?M. GoldmanMiami, FL
QUESTION: I am active in kiruv work in a neighborhood where there are many Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Unfortunately, these people were kept ignorant of their Jewish heritage.Lately I've noticed a new phenomenon. At this time of year, many of them seem to be bringing evergreen trees into their homes. They claim that they always did this in Russia in celebration of the "winter festival".What should my attitude be as a kiruv professional?Name WithheldBrooklyn, NY
Autour du Coq Rouge (Around the Red Rooster), painted in 1982 by a 95-year-old Marc Chagall (1887-1985), the most famous Jewish artist of the 20th Century, puzzles us with its mysterious loveliness and grace. The Chagall bursts upon us in a passionate torrent, scintillating our visual sensibilities with pinks, hot violets and lush greens that are only partially soothed by the flickering blues of distant skies.
QUESTION: I am intrigued by the fact that the New Year for trees is in the middle of the month and not at the beginning of a month, as all the other New Years. Even the gentiles begin their New Year at the start of a month. Do you have an explanation for this?
In recent years the American Jewish community has been the target of a campaign that tries to argue that Jews are theologically obligated to support each and every green fad to come along. Several organizations have arisen in the name of "eco-Judaism," which is nothing more than the endorsement of the environmentalist political agenda in the name of Judaism.