Jewish Calendar: Solar and Lunar
How the Hebrew calendar works.
The rhythm of Jewish time is determined both by the sun and by the moon. The basic unit of time is naturally enough the day, which is a unit of time determined by the amount of sunlight reaching the earth as it rotates on its axis.
Kosher Food: What Makes Food Kosher or Not
The word "kosher" literally means "fit" or "appropriate."
Ask an average person to describe kosher food and they might say it is food “blessed by a rabbi.” The word “kosher,” however, is Hebrew for “fit” or “appropriate” and describes the food that is suitable for a Jew to eat. With its roots in the Hebrew Bible, the system of defining which foods are kosher was developed by the rabbis of late antiquity. Its application to changing realities has been the work of subsequent generations, including our own.
Jewish Custom (Minhag) Versus Law (Halacha)
Though often widely practiced, customs are not considered mandatory by traditional Jews.
A Jewish custom — known in Hebrew as a minhag — is a religious practice that, though sometimes very widely practiced, does not carry the force of Jewish law and is thus not considered mandatory by traditional Jews.
What Is the Meaning of Chai?
The Hebrew word for life is a popular symbol and toast — and is linked to the number 18.
Chai (חי) is the Hebrew word for life. The word, consisting of two Hebrew letters —chet (ח) and yud (י)— is a Jewish symbol, frequently appearing on pendants and other jewelry.
Unlike the Indian tea chai, which is pronounced with the “ch” sound of “chocolate,” the Hebrew chai is pronounced with the same “kh” sound as in challah. Both words rhyme with “high,” however.
It's Tu BiShvat: Plant A Tree In Israel
For over a century planting a tree in Israel has been a wonderful way to remember a loved who has died or honor a loved one for a celebratory occasion.
Tu BiShvat, the Birthday of the Trees, is a wonderful time to continue this tradition.
For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide.