Story by Jessica Goldstein
To welcome Shabbat this week, everyone shared their highlights from the week and the most popular was the first snow of 2022. Everyone loved waking up to see their yards covered in a beautiful blanket of snow. Kevin began with the blessing over the candles. Aaron performed the Kiddush, the blessing of the grape juice and the Hamotzi, the blessing over the challah.
We learned about the upcoming holiday Tu B’shevat, the birthday of the trees. One might ask, why celebrate the trees in January when there is snow outside? Well, in Israel, it is now the end of the rainy season, the soil is drenched and fertile and it is a perfect time to plant trees. Tu B’shevat is celebrated as an ecological holiday where many plant trees. Another tradition is to plant parsley seeds so that they will bloom in time to use at the Passover Sedar.
The torah portion this week, Bo, recounts the harshest plague and the beginning of the Israelites journey towards freedom. The word Bo in Hebrew can mean either “go” or “come” which is fitting for this portion. Pharoah still continues to go back on his promise to free the Israelites and so, G-d inflicts more plagues. Finally, the plague promising the slaying of the first born. Moses protects the Israelites and Pharaoh agrees to free them.
Towards the end of the evening, Kevin asked to learn a new Hebrew song. Judaic Coordinator, Hagit, began to teach the group Hatikvah, the Israeli National Anthem. It was a fun and festive evening, and everyone is looking forward to celebrating next week.