Today for many environmentally eco-conscious Jews Tu bi-shevat has come to take on especial importance. The ecological problems of the earth in part stem from a misuse of G-d's divine creation. Adam and Chava were bidden to care for, protect, conserve, and safeguard the Garden of Eden. The task of Humanity in part is to restore the planet and human consciousness to this "Edenic state through halakhic fulfillment of ideas such as shemitah and yovel when the land is allowed to rest. In that we eat fruits said with a bracha from Eretz Yisrael on Tu bi-shevat we remember that our ultimate natural existence is tide to the jewish homeland and its ancient agricultural blessings and we give thanks for its abundance.
The first mention of Tu b’Av is in the Mishna (Taanit), where it says (attributed to Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel), “There were no better days for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur, since on these days the daughters of Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards. What they were saying: Young man, consider who you choose (to be your wife).” Some would say look to scholarship as marrying a scholar is the highest asset. Some would say look to good character traits i.e. middot.. Some would say look to a well connected family etc. Some would say look to wealth, etc. (Taanit 4:8). According to the Gemara, on this day the “tribes of Israel were permitted to mingle with each other” (Taanit 30b).
In Hilchot Berachot of Rambam;s MT chapter 1 Rambam writes, "It is a positive mitzvah deoreita to bless G-d after eating nourishing food as Deut. 8:10 states, "וְאָכַלְתָּ, וְשָׂבָעְתָּ--וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, עַל-הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַן-לָךְ" Hazal legislated that one should recite grace after meals if one has eaten bread the size of an olive bulk.. This mikorot packet includes (1) classical mephorshim, (2) Sifrei Hasidut , and (3) sifrei Machshava (Jewish Thought) (4) and a Bibliography on the importance of being grateful for G-d's gifts and bounty from which we benefit and acknowledge in the birkat HaMazon.
Lurianic Kabbalah claims that the 2 orot, shemesh veyareach, and the 1st 2 humans, Adam and Chava, male and female aspects of the Godhead were equal in the embryonic stage of ma'aseh bereshit. However as a result of the exit from Eden the lavanah became smaller and the Shechinah went into Galut. The sources for this promise and the halakhic basis for the observance of Rosh Hodesh is a sugya from Megillah 22b. Rashi and Tosafot comment that women “are not permitted to do work on RH i.e. Rashi comments women refrain from spinning, weaving, and sewing. This is explained in Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer (ch. 45):
"The women heard about all construction of the egel hazahav and refused to submit their jewelry to their husbands for the women said that the egel hazahav was a toavah hi and has no power of geulah. Hakadosh baruch hu rewarded the women in olam hazeh to observe RH and not work and in olam habah the women are destined shen atidot lehithadesh kimokhah."
Mekor Haminhagim notes the women were enthusiastic about the mishkan and reluctant about the egel hazahav. According to Ohr Zaruah RH is an obvious reference to the monthy cycle after which women renew themselves in a mikvah like the moon thru immersion (See Midrash Tadshei). The acronym for Roshei Chadashim is rechem. Biyemei hamashiah just as the moon- (sefirah of malchut) willl be elevated in size to the shemesh-[sefirah of keter], so women will ascend in function and status without becoming identical to men but realizing true gender equality that recognizes the difference between men and women who complement each other as Chava complemented Adam, or as Rabban Gamliel's daughter notes in a Midrash, when Eve was presented to Adam Rishon, it was a raising in kedushah as if a silver jug were replaced by a gold jug. The bnai Yissachar notes the gematria of Hodesh= 312 and the yod key vav key times 12 months of the year= 312. Ergo Hashem is present with all the tribes throughout the year (364 days) because of the factor of RH where the women refused to engage in avodah zarah. For the Halakhah of Rosh Hodesh see: Levy, D. B. (2015). [Review of the book Yerach tov: Birkat HaChodesh in Jewish law and liturgy, by E. Adler]. Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews, 5(1), 1.
the Haftorah is the Rabbinic selection of prophetic readings chanted in the synagogue in conjunction with the weekly torah portion known as the parashah. There is usually a connection (kesher) often thematically between the parashah and Haftorah. See Yehudah Shaviv's Ben haftorah le-parashah (JUD BS1225.3.S43 2000)
Traditionally Jews in preparation for Shabbos Leining at a bare minimum would learn Shtei Mikra (2x parasha with Rashi + the Aramaic translation of Onkelos). Thus in this Bibliography we offer articles on the righteous convert Onkelos who authored an authoritative translation into Armaic of the Hebrew Bible.
The Shema is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and was incorporated into the heart of the liturgical (prayeful) structure for davoning. Rashi comments that the word "modekhah" (might) i.e. serve haShem with all one's might means one's wealth to finance teachers, buy sefarim, and support torah scholars. The word "Ekhad" hazal note is the gematria of 13 and ergo Rabbi Akiva's last word "ekhad" was a mystical act to unite 13+ 13 because the word "ahavah" (love is also 13)., At Rabbi Akiva's martyrdom his talmidim (students) asked how Rabbi Akiva can bare the tourcher of the Romans flaying Rabbi Akiva's flesh to sell in the market place? Rabbi Akiva responded that his whole life was directed towards affiriming Hashem's unity (Einzigkeit) with total Ahavas Hashem. Thus Rabbi Akiva mystically united 13+13 the gematria of the tetragramaton (26) so that the wings of the Shekhinah herself transported his neshamah straight to the higher heavens etc.The shema contains many mysteries such as the ayin and Daleth being written bigger. Why? Because we are all aideim, to testify to Hashem's presence, blessings, and wonders in olam hazeh and beyond (l'eyla l'eyla).