Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Posts Tagged ‘Judeism’

Celebrate Life; Plant Trees On Tu B’Shevat And Year Round

Posted by infinitygoods on January 19, 2008

1 Tree and 1 Bird by Mary B. Bloom uploaded on Flickr public files

When you shall come to the land, you shall plant trees. Leviticus 19:23

At sundown on Monday, Jews around the world will be celebrating Tu B’Shevat, which is the New Year for Trees. It is not a high holiday like Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah, but some families celebrate with their children by planting trees, donating to the Jewish National Fund to have a tree planted in Israel, or having a seder similar to the one from Passover as Tu B’Shevat begins the 60 days leading to Passover.

During President Bush’s recent visit to Israel, the Jewish National Fund presented him with a certificate for 36 trees to be planted in his name at the American Independence Park in the Judean Hills and in Negev. The JNF states, “As the present year, 5768 in the Jewish calendar is a shmitta year, when the land lies fallow and no sowing or planting is allowed in the earth of the Land of Israel, the trees that will be planted in the name of the U.S. President will actually be planted at the end of the shmitta year.”

Fellow blogger Robin has an excellent 13-point description of Tu B’Shevat and I encourage you to check her easy-to-understand but detailed information and links.

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Three Purple Candles, A Pink One And A Wreath

Posted by infinitygoods on November 26, 2007

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from-flickr-public-files-advent-wreath-by-annalena-brych.jpgAdvent starts this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007. A tradition we celebrate in our home is the Advent wreath. It’s time to gather our candles and our wreath. We light our candles daily rather than just on Sundays, so I have found that small pillars work better than tapers as we go through too many tapers too quickly otherwise. I’ve also found that picking varying heights for the candles makes for a pretty centerpiece while serving the need since one purple candle will be used for four weeks and the last purple candle for only one week.

Advent comes from the Latin words, AD (to) VENIRE (come). During the Advent season we prepare ourselves spiritually for the coming of the Christ Child. The candles symbolize the light that The Christ Child will bring to the world. The circular, unending shape of the wreath symbolizes eternity and the everlasting nature of God. Decorations of the wreath are to symbolize that Christ brings each of us hope, beauty and life.

Here’s how to celebrate this tradition. It’s very simple, so don’t be intimidated if you’ve never followed this tradition.

First Week (Sun. Dec. 2): FAITH — Light one purple candle at dinner time (or each meal) and say a prayer. There are no official prayers, so you can use a favorite prayer, say grace, use one from the many Advent pamphlets published or even make up your own focusing on the week’s theme.

Second Week (Sun. Dec. 9): HOPE — Light two purple candles and say a prayer.

Third Week (Sun. Dec. 16): JOY — Light two purple candles and one pink candle; and say a prayer.

Fourth Week (Sun. Dec. 23): PEACE — Light three purple candles and one pink candle; and say a prayer.

Christmas Day (Tues. Dec. 25): LOVE — On Christmas morning, either light 4 white candles (my preference to symbolize Christ, the joy and celebration of Christmas) or some people light 3 purple candles, a pink candle and a white candle in the center. Say a prayer. These candles are lighted for the 12 days of Christmas until Epiphany (traditionally on January 6).

That is all there is to it. We keep our wreath lighted throughout our meals. If you are used to this tradition or not afraid of a little more devotion after your family’s meal, you could gather around the wreath to read the Bible, read Advent devotions, read the writings of influential spiritual writers, or read some Christmas stories and poems such as O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” and T.S. Eliot’s The Journey of the Magi.” You could even sing some of the songs you heard in church.

How do you celebrate the coming of the Christ Child who is our light? What are your Advent Season traditions or memories? Or if you are Jewish or celebrate Jewish traditions in addition to Christian ones, what are your traditions to prepare for Hanukkah?

For a list of all the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my previous household tips, just click below.

Santa Letter

Egg Tip

Black Friday Holiday Shopping

Bookcases at the Breaking Point?

Organizing Household Binder

Holiday Shopping List

Holiday Decorating Tips and Ideas

Trading Card Storage

Freezer Solution

Large desk calendar inside guest closet

Child’s haircut without tears

Homemade bread stuffing

Plastic colander bath toy drainer/holder

Reuse plastic grocery bags in the car

How to increase Web site traffic?

16 Blog/Web site tips

Toy storage

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in Advent, Chanukkah, Christianity, Christmas, culture, education, Faith, Family, God, Hanukkah, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Judaism, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, novel, novel in 30 days, reading, religion, spirituality, Tradition, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »