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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Jblogs: Five Ways to Show I’m not Pregnant and Then Some

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

It’s my second batch so far, and all I can say is I’m frustrated beyond belief, because there’s so much good, zesty stuff out there in Jewblogia, and I only get an hour or two to look for the best. For sure I missed great pearls today, and if you want to help me correct this inequity, a.) start a new blog against me, and, 2.) send me da links. I want my links to your work. Trip well, cruise safely, it should all be G rated, maybe PG-13, max.

Funniest Lady Blogger Today: Frum N’ Flipping

Actually, this funny ladyposted last Shabbat, but I’m a slow woman in my mid life, so on occasion the pigeon gets here late. But not too late to recognize a funny, funny concept.

“Five ways to show I’m not Pregnant”

I don’t want to copy and paste too much, cuz I hate it when others do it to me, but her first advise is sooo on the money:

“Throw back shots of whiskey.”

Do you want to do cigarettes, too? Don’t know, not sure it’s worth it. But as non-verbal communications go, it probably works.

Public Breastfeeding, Discuss Amongst Yourselves

Hannah Katsman, A Mother in Israel, bravely takes on the oldest public debate in human history (Eve’le, must you do it here? What if people show up? – What people? It’s just us, Adam). Almost 100 readers are in on the debate so far. basically, she wants to know:

“Why Can’t Breastfeeding Mothers Just Be Nice?”

She writes: “Seeing a mother breastfeeding, even if nothing shows, makes some people uncomfortable. That feeling is unlikely to change, at least in the short term. I believe this happens when people grow up without seeing breastfeeding as part of daily life.  Our culture associates breasts with sex, not with feeding babies.”

You can see the debate erupting already, right? Well, you’re right. Tell her you found her here and that she shouldn’t be a stranger.

Canadian’s Hasidic Bootleggers – or: You Learn a Lot on the Internet

David Sugarman describes his adventures in search of quality kosher wine in Montreal – where you wouldn’t think wine would be a problem, right?

So after he looks around and finds only two varieties of Kedem on the shelves, a guy sends him to a synagogue, where, after a short interrogation, a hasidic man leads him into “the side entrance, through several doors and hallways, and down into a basement filled with empty wooden wine crates.”

Sugarman continues: “I waited for a few minutes until a different man brought me through one last door, into a small room crowded with Hasidic men. Lining the wall was the single best selection of kosher wine I’d ever seen. ‘Can I make a recommendation?’ the shop-keep asked and held out a nice-looking Cabernet.”

Read the entire entry, it is absolutely delightful, and includes police raids and other adventures.

Putting their Money Where their Eyes Are

Emes Ve-Emuna’s Harry Maryles is investing a lot of meditation time into the question of what exactly bothers him about the Haredi “Antinet” assembly at CitiField May 20.

” There was something very troubling to me about it. But although I was dancing around it, I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly why,” he writes. “How could this be a bad thing? After all the purpose is a good one. The internet has its dangers. Everyone agrees with that. There are things that can be done to counteract those dangers. And the fact that the right wing has finally come around to accepting the reality that they will never be able to ban it is a step in the right direction.  And isn’t Achdus a good thing?”

It finally comes to him: “It is the idea that a group is spending in excess of a million dollars to hold this event – the purpose of which is to tell us what we already know. And then suggest that this is a uniting moment.”

Very well thought out piece, plus a great online debate – by the time I visited there were 50 comments already. Say hi for me.

Thank You for Setting the Record Straight!

Yoni the Blogger reacts to former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appearance on CNN, where he said he didn’t trust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reach the right decision for Israel regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

Olmert told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “The Iranian regime has not gone beyond a certain line of developing (its) nuclear program. That shows that they are at least thoughtful, which means that they are not rushing, but they are calculating their steps – being aware of the possible ramifications of what they do to Iran itself – which is what we want them to understand.”

To which Yoni the Blogger (his blog is called Daf Yoni) reacts, possibly in the name of hundreds of thousands of us: “This is from the man that not only is a criminal, in several different ways. The first and most important is a tie, the retreat from Gaza and the Second Lebanon war. How many Jewish lives has Olmert destroyed?”

If you answered “Many,” you win first prize.

Braving Bravery – Bravo!

This is a little convoluted and will require a lot of online reading, but if you’re sitting there with a just-unwrapped sandwich and are looking for something to keep your interest while you’re chewing, do visit Rosner’s Domain for two items.

First, read his April 25 note on Paul Krugman’s review of Peter Beinart’s book (“The Crisis of Zionism,” which Krugman said was a brave book, because Beinart had opened himself up to “intense attack from organized groups that try to ‎make any criticism of Israeli policies tantamount to anti-Semitism.”

Rosener posted seven poignant points in response to the Krugman item, which you should read before you move on to Rosener’s latest entry, “Krugman’s bravery, second round,” in which he is responding to critics of his original item, because it “made some ‎waves, some understandable and expected, some the result of ‎misreading or misunderstanding.”

The reason I enjoyed both pieces is Rosener moderate style – I can just imagine him in person, speaking slowly and clearly, so no one misunderstands him, then seeing how everyone misunderstood him. It’s a blogger’s plight in life, I guess.

Benzion Netanyahu on a ‘Palestinian Arab People’

Thank you, Ymedad, for the translation of a 1998 interview in Ha’aretz with the recently departed father of Israel’s Prime Minister, the late Prof. Ben Zion Netanyahu. As the blogger puts it, “Netanyahu was quite explicit about his thinking on  a so-called ‘Palestinian Arab people.'”

The short item starts with: “I do not think that those Arabs referring to themselves as Palestinians possess a right to a state.  For me it is quite clear that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people.”

Go see the rest and leave a comment. It’s not a bad idea to support folks who quote and upload the unconventional truth.

Funny Toon, Go See

My policy is that I won’t steal good, punchy stuff from a blogger, but would instead encourage you guys to click over and look for yourselves.

This might be the funniest Jewish anti-Obama cartoon, titled: “Obama’s Reagan moment.” And, as always, if you’ve seen it before elsewhere – bad on you for not sending it to Tibbi. Either way, I win.

Now go take a look.

 

The Wisdom Of Yerushalayim

Friday, April 20th, 2012

The inhabitants of Yerushalayim were exceptionally clever. Rabi Chuna said in the name of Rabi Yose, “Wherever this Yerushalmi went in the provinces, they arranged a seat of honor for him to sit upon in order to listen to his wisdom.”

Even the slaves and servants of the people of Yerushalayim were brilliant as is shown by the following story. An Athenian came to Yerushalayim where he studied for three and a half years to learn the wisdom of the people, but he could not master it. After the three and a half years had passed, he bought a slave who was blind in one eye.

Realizing the bad deal he had made, he exclaimed in disgust, “After three and a half years of studying, the best I could do was to buy a slave who is half blind!”

Displays His Brilliance

The Athenian and the slave departed for home. When they left the gate of Yerushalayim, the slave said to his master, “Hurry, so that we may catch up to the caravan.”

“Is there a caravan in front of us?” the Athenian asked in surprise.

“Yes,” answered the slave, “and there is a she-camel in front of us that is blind in one eye. It has twins in its womb, and is carrying two skin-bottles, one containing wine and the other vinegar. It is four miles away and the camel driver is a gentile.”

The Athenian said to the slave, “Oh, you who belong to a stiff-necked people! With one eye, how do you know that the camel is blind in one eye?”

He answered, “I noticed that one side of the path has been grazed by the camel but not the other side.”

“And how do you know that there are twins in the womb?” he asked.

The slave replied, “It layed down and I noticed the trace of two of them.”

“And how do you know that it was carrying two skin-bottles, one containing wine and the other vinegar?” he asked.

He answered, “From the drippings. These of the wine are absorbed into the ground but those of vinegar ferment.”

“And how do you know that the camel-driver is a gentile?” he asked.

He replied, “Because he relieved himself in the middle of the road. A Jew would not do that but would retire to a corner.”

“And how do you know that it is four miles away?”

The slave replied, “Up to four miles the mark of the camel’s hoof is perceptible but not beyond that distance.”

They ran after the caravan and they found it as he had said.

Never Make Fun Of People

An Athenian came to Yerushalayim and made fun of the inhabitants of the city. He ridiculed their customs and behavior and then left for home.

“Who will bring him back to us and teach him a lesson on behavior” the leaders of the city asked.

One person volunteered and said, “I will go to his city and bring him back with his head shaven and his face blackened.”

The Yerushalmi went to Athens and visited the man, who showed him great hospitality. In the morning the two of them went out for a walk in the market place. On the way one of the Yerushalmi’s sandals broke. Entering a shoemaker’s place, he said to the workman: “Take this tremis (a very expensive Roman gold coin) and repair this sandal.” (He paid him an absurdly high price). The shoemaker repaired the sandal.

The next day the two of them again went out for a walk in the market place and the other sandal broke. He again entered a shoemaker’s place and paid a fantastic price for its repair.

“Are sandals so expensive in your city,” asked the Athenian, “that you pay so much for their repair?”

“Yes,” was the answer.

“What do they sell for?” the Athenian asked.

“Nine or 10 dinars,” he replied, “and when they are cheap they sell for seven or eight dinars” (an exorbitant price).

“If I were to come to you with a stock of sandals, would you help sell them for me?” the Athenian asked.

“Certainly,” he replied, “but you must not enter the city without first informing me.”

The following week the Athenian bought a large stock of sandals and set out for Yerushalayim. At the entrance of the city he sent for the Yerushalmi who said, “We have a custom in our city that nobody may enter to sell his wares unless his head is shaven and his face blackened.”

“Very well,” replied the Athenian, “What do I care if my head is shaven, as long as I can sell my goods!”

After shaving his head, the Yerushalmi took him and seated him in the middle of the market place. When a person came to buy sandals from him and asked the Athenian how much a pair cost, he answered, “Some are 10 dinars and some nine; but I will not take less than eight.”

The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Title: The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine

Author: Irving Langer

Publisher: Gefen

Amusing as it is to read a book about wine from a publisher named “Gefen,” The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine warrants modest attention.

Many kosher wine drinkers lack what wine connoisseurs know – a knowledge of the history of grapes, how they’re grown, and the best seasons for buying them. It’s not enough to stick with the same old stuff you’ve always enjoyed or simply to buy what someone recommends. Knowledge enables wine drinkers to buy what they desire all on their own.

An overview to the kosher wine-making industry’s information is presented by author and wine connoisseur Daniel Rogov, in The Kosher Grapevine’s Introduction. The Kosher Grapevine’s author Irving Langer augments the education with his own look at wine-making as well as the nature of the storage barrels used to age wines for taste perfection. Langer also teaches the surprisingly little-known but only correct technique for holding a glass of wine. He didn’t expound, though, on the meaning of a given wine bottle’s appearance. The color, neck, shoulders and shape of the bottle indicate the nature of a particular wine, cluing purchasers in to its sensory potentials.

The rest of the book holds historic tales of Jewish facts, figures and history, a few jokes and lovely photographs, plus advice on how to pair wines with specific foods. Non-Jewish and new-to-observant Judaism adherents can benefit from the Hebrew/English glossary that can clue readers in to tenets of Jewish life and law. Gedalya Persky, a co–owner of Israel’s HaMartaf shop that sells wines, whiskies and beers, comments that “the section on how to taste wines is well done. Facts about the Gemara and minhagim (Jewish customs) round out the book. It’s nice start for beginners.”

Despite its lack of a more comprehensive survey of kosher wines, The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine can enhance a reader’s growing appreciation for wine-making’s technicalities.

Add this hardcover coffee table–sized book to your reading list and see what it does for your wine-drinking experience.

 

http://itsmycrisisandillcryifineedto.blogspot.com/

Five Terms Of Endearment – So Why Only Four Cups Of Wine?

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

The number four seems to play a major role in the Pesach Seder. We have four questions, four sons, four terms of endearment and, of course, one of the major features we soon will be enjoying – the drinking of four cups of wine.

The Mishnah is very specific about those four cups, requiring the community to see to it that even the poor have them, even if it comes from public charity (Pesachim 10:1).

Since the Torah says nothing about wine in describing the Pesach ritual, the question arises as to the origin and meaning of this practice. Why wine at all and why four cups?

To begin with, wine does appear in the Torah in ritual contexts. It was used as libations on the altar (Exodus 29:40) and was considered a special drink that caused people to rejoice.

As we read in Psalm 104:15, “And wine makes the heart of man joyful…” This is why it was taken from the Temple rite into the synagogue and the home, so that Kiddush is recited over it, as are Havdalah and the Birkat Hamazon. Weddings are also solemnized with wine and it is used in the ceremony of the brit milah.

It would only have been natural, then, for the festive Pesach meal, like any holiday feast, to begin with wine and conclude with it. Two cups.

However, at the Seder the third cup is associated with maggid – the telling of the story. The fourth cup is recited over Hallel and is a special addition unique to the Seder.

Different explanations were offered in the writings of the sages, the gaonim, and the later rabbis as to the significance of the number four. Among them are: four expressions of redemption, four empires that oppressed Israel, four cups of punishment of those empires, four cups mentioned in connection with Pharaoh, four cups of fury, four cups of salvation, four decrees of Pharaoh against Israel, four exiles.

The most popular and most generally accepted explanation was that the four cups stand for the four promises of redemption that God uttered: I will free you from the labors of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and through extraordinary chastisements, and I will take you to be My people (Exodus 6:6-7). The Hebrew words are vehotzeiti, vehitzalti, vegoalti and velakahti.

Once these four promises had been accepted as the reason for the four cups, the question arose about the fact that there was a fifth expression of redemption in Exodus 6, verse 8 – “And I shall bring you to the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” – veheiveiti.

And so Rabbi Tarfon taught, “On the fifth cup one finishes the Hallel and says the Great Hallel (Psalm 136).” This is found in the Talmud Yerushalmi, Pesachim 10:1, and also in the manuscript reading of Pesachim 118a.

This is also probably the origin of the Cup of Elijah. Since not all were agreed that we should drink a fifth cup, it was set aside until Elijah would come and decide that issue and all other halachic issues. It may be that the majority of the sages demurred because that promise was painfully unfulfilled after the exile of the year 70 CE. That may also explain why in the verses elucidated in the Haggadah, the verse “He brought us to this place and gave us this land” (Deuteronomy 26:9) is absent.

Both Rav Amram Gaon and the Rambam mention using the fifth cup, though they see it as optional but not required.

Rabbi Menachem Kasher, in his edition of the Haggadah, strongly advocates the drinking of the fifth cup. The Cup of Elijah can be passed to all the participants as the fifth cup.

Rabbi Kasher believes we have been privileged to live in a time when the fifth expression of redemption has actually come to pass, as the Jewish people have returned to their own land and established the state of Israel. Therefore, it is right and proper that we drink a fifth cup to recognize that reality and express our gratitude and thanksgiving to God for it.

Considering that so great a sage as Rabbi Tarfon advocated the fifth cup and that such great authorities as the Rambam and Rav Amram Gaon permitted it, it would seem that not to drink the fifth cup would be an act of ingratitude to God for the partial redemption represented by the state of Israel.

How many cups does it take to express our gratitude to God at the Seder? I believe the answer is five.

By Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher is dean of students at the Diaspora Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Fearing Holiness as Pesach Approaches

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

The big 7-8 day Holiday is approaching. The one that seems to get people more uptight than happy (as they should be –Rambam, Laws of the Holidays, 6:17), to the extent that when you are actually brave enough to utter the word “PESACH,” it often feels like you’ve put people on edge.

These less than “30 days before the Holiday” offer us an opportunity to evaluate the above phenomenon, which seems to be more and more commonplace in our times.

It amazes me that Pesach comes just a month after Purim. More than anything, what makes Purim unique is that it is a day in which the edict that “one should become inebriated on Purim till one doesn’t distinguish between the curse of Haman to the blessing of Mordechai” proclaims it a day in which…everything goes, in which one has very loose – to non-existent – borders regarding what is permitted and what is forbidden. In a word, it’s a day in which the word “fear” seems to be put into a drawer for 24 hours, as we permit ourselves to do things otherwise unthinkable – in terms of what we wear, what we say, which jokes we crack, and of course, how much alcohol we allow ourselves to consume.

And then, right after the hangover passes, the costumes are put away for next year, and the last cookie from the “Mishloach Manot” is eaten, we get…fearful and nervous; just 30 days to clean the house, buy the (new and expensive) groceries, and cook for Pesach!

From too much courage to neurotic fear, and all this in two months!

Leaving aside how much one needs to clean for Pesach and how crazy one must get (based on the Torah’s dictates, without the “extra’s” of cleaning the windows as well…), I’d like to comment on just one point – the “fear” of it.

I believe that something has crept into the Religious Jewish community over the last few years that shouldn’t be there – our fear of holiness. Let’s introduce it with the following episode, usually read right after Purim in the weekly Torah reading (except in a leap-year). The Jewish people have just been forgiven for the elevated sin of the Golden Calf, and Moshe is coming down Mount Sinai…with one small change to his face:

29. And it came to pass when Moses descended from Mount Sinai, and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses’ hand when he descended from the mountain and Moses did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while He had spoken with him 30. that Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses and behold! the skin of his face had become radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.31. But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the princes of the community returned to him, and Moses would speak to them…..

Reading these verses, I would have thought it wonderful – the people behold Moshe looking holier than ever, and thus maintain their distance, knowing that they are not on the level. After all, we don’t just barge into a shul, open the ark and greet the Torah Scrolls with a “Hello Mate…,” nor do we ascend the Temple Mount without proper preparations! And so, the Jewish people recognize Moshe’s new, elevated radiance/holiness and keep their distance from his holiness.

But then we get to Rashi’s read, which offers a radically different interpretation:

and they were afraid to come near him: Come and see how great the power of sin is! Because when they had not yet stretched out their hands to sin [with the golden calf], what does He say? “And the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire atop the mountain, before the eyes of the children of Israel” (Exod. 24:17), and they were neither frightened nor quaking. But since they had made the calf, even from Moses’ rays of splendor they recoiled and quaked. (from Sifrei Nasso 11, Pesikta d’Rav Kahana, p. 45)

What forces Rashi to see the above in negative terms rather then the positive? Why not just applause the people for their reverence of holiness?

Seems to me that Rashi wants to give us a message: We dare not stay away from holiness. Quite the contrary – we should embrace it and try to get a “piece of it.”

Our Torah is full of commands to “be holy” (Vayikra 11:43-44, 19:2, 20:7), or “to be for me holy” (20:26)! Moreover, when the Torah commands that we shall go to “the place” in order to sacrifice and more, it adds the edict that “you shall inquire after His dwelling and come there” (Devarim 12:5). The Ramban explains (ad-loc) that “the reason for ‘you shall inquire after his dwelling’ is that you shall come from afar, and ask: ‘where is the house of God,’ and say to each other: ‘Let us ascend and go to the mountain of God to the house of the God of Jacob.'” In other words, according to this interpretation, we should not only be holy but should actually pursue it, seek it out, and make “an issue” of asking people how we can arrive at holiness.

Drinking on Purim: Holy or Wholly Irresponsible?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Jewish Tradition has always stressed moderation, restraint, and personal responsibility. This is true even when we celebrate. In Hilchot Yom Tov (6:20), Rambam warns:

“When one eats, drinks and rejoices on a festival, he should not drink too much wine or engage in levity or lightheadedness and say, ‘all who add to this are increasing the mitzvah of simchah.’ For drunkenness, excessive laughter, and lightheadedness is not simchah, but rather debauchery and foolishness…” Yet the Gemara (Megillah 7b) records: “Rava said, ‘One is obligated to get drunk on Purim until he does not know the difference between cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordechai.’” Drinking on Purim is accepted by the Rif and Rosh and codified by the Tur and Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 695).

It’s hard to imagine how drunkenness, which Judaism abhors the entire year, is considered an “obligation” on Purim. The author of Kol Bo struggles with this very question and writes:

“One is obligated to drink on Purim – not to the point of drunkenness. Drunkenness is completely prohibited and there is no greater offense than it, for it leads to adultery, murder, and the like. Rather, one should drink more than he is accustomed to in order to increase his joy and make happy the poor and console them, speak to their hearts – for that is true joy.”

‘Cursed is Haman’ and ‘Blessed is Mordechai’

Concerning drinking on Purim, Rambam writes that one should drink until he falls asleep (Hilchot Megillah 2:15). Once asleep, one cannot differentiate between ‘cursed is Haman’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai.’ Tosafot writes that one should drink until he cannot recite the phrase, based on the Talmud Yerushalmi, “Cursed is Haman, blessed is Mordechai, cursed is Zeresh, blessed is Esther, cursed are all the wicked, blessed are all the Jews.” Some explain that the requirement is to drink until one can no longer answer the proper refrain to a poem that was once customarily recited on Purim (Abudraham, Purim and Darchei Moshe, Orach Chayim 695:1, citing Sefer HaMinhagim of Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Tirna). Others rule that the Gemara only requires one to drink to the point that he can no longer calculate the gemmatria of ‘cursed is Haman’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai, which share an equal numerical value (Rabbeinu Yerucham, Toldot Adam V’Chavah, Netiv 10, Chelek 1; Abudraham, Purim; Maharil, Minhagim, Hilchot Purim 10, citing Mahari Segel; Sefer HaAgudah 1:7; Bach, Orach Chayim 695; Magen Avraham, Orach Chayim 695:3).

A moderate approach is taken by Rema (Orach Chayim 695:2), who synthesizes the positions of the Kol Bo, Rambam, and Maharil, and writes:

“There are those who say that one need not drink too much, rather drink more than he is accustomed and sleep. Through sleep one does not know the difference between ‘cursed is Haman’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai.’ One might increase, another might minimize – as long as the intent of their heart is [for the sake] of Heaven.”

Rabbah and Rabbi Zeira

Strikingly, immediately after Rava’s instructions to drink, the Gemara (Megillah 7b) offers the following anecdote:

“Rabbah and Rabbi Zeira made the Purim feast together. They got drunk. Rabbah arose and slaughtered Rabbi Zeira. The next day, he prayed for mercy and revived him. The following year he [Rabbah] said, ‘let’s make the Purim meal together again.’ He [Rabbi Zeira] answered, ‘not every moment does a miracle occur.’”

Some suggest that the Gemara cites this anecdote in order to illustrate the point that the halacha is not in accordance with Rava, and one should not get drunk. The story, in a sense, serves as a warning. One of the Tosafists, Rabbeinu Ephraim, as cited by the Ba’al HaMaor, concludes:

“Rabbah said, ‘One should drink on Purim, etc.’ Rabbeinu Ephraim wrote that from the account of ‘Rabbah arose and slaughtered Rabbi Zeira,’ this comes to nullify the statement of Rabbah. The halacha is not like him and it is not good to do so [i.e. get drunk] (HaMaor Hakatan in the pages of the Rif, Megillah 3b).”

How ironic, that in his girsa of the Gemara, it is Rabbah who both teaches the obligation to get drunk and who slaughtered Rabbi Zeira! This certainly serves to amplify Rabbeinu Ephraim’s position.

Yet other poskim deduce the opposite from the Gemara’s use of this anecdote. They see the story of Rabbah and Rabbi Zeira as a proof positive of the obligation to become intoxicated (Sefer HaEshkol, Auerbach Edition, Hilchot Chanukah V’Purim; Pri Chadash, Orach Chayim 695:2).

Why Drink?

According to Rashi, the obligation is to get drunk on wine. Abudraham and Chayei Adam explain that drinking wine reminds us that the miracle of Purim was carried out through wine. Feasting and drunkenness is a major theme in Megillat Esther and it allowed the easily pliable Ahashverosh to be manipulated. Drinking allows us to express our joy and gratitude to Hashem for His salvation (Magen David, Orach Chayim 695:1).

Israeli Rabbinate Warns against Tu B’Shvat Figs

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

The Kashrut Dept. of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate published a warning on the eve of Tu B’Shvat, cautioning against eating some of the holiday’s traditional fruits. Figs are at the top of the list, because of concern regarding insects and worms which “hide inside the fruit’s flesh and are difficult to detect.”

Carobs are also listed as “highly infected” because of the way they are grown and stored. The Chief Rabbinate recommends washing the fruit well, checking it for holes, and even banging it against the tabletop, to make sure its insides don’t crumble easily – both being telltale signs of the presence of worms.

The holiday of Tu B’Shvat starts tonight, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, marking the New Year for Trees. It is celebrated by consuming the fruits which are indigenous to Eretz Israel according to the Torah.

A kabalistic custom calls for holding a Tu B’Shvat seder, in which participants eat ten local fruits and drink four cups of wine, the latter custom reminiscent of the Passover seder.

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/israeli-rabbinate-warns-against-tu-bshvat-figs/2012/02/07/

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