About The Temple

     Temple Tifereth Israel of Winthrop is an unaffiliated Jewish congregation, whose services and practices nominally follow the Conservative tradition. We provide a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere for our congregants and visitors. The Congregation is committed to preserving Jewish values and traditions.
     The Temple is located just north of Boston and is adjacent to East Boston, Logan Airport, Revere, and Chelsea. Winthrop has a population of approximately 20,000, is largely residential and is a peninsula with the Atlantic Ocean to the East and Boston Harbor to the West.
     Public transportation provides convenient low cost access to Boston, while road access to Boston, points west and south is provided by 3 tunnels below Boston Harbor. Points north of Boston, including New Hampshire and Maine, are easily reached by highways adjacent to Winthrop.

Officers & Clergy

PRESIDENT: Sandra (Goldstein) Pellegrino
VICE PRESIDENTS: Dana Stone, Steven Miller

Tu B'Shevat

Tu B' Shevat

Tu B'Shevat is the Jewish 'New Year for Trees'. It is one of the four Jewish new years (Rosh Hashanahs).

On Tu B'Shevat we often eat fruits associated with the Holy Land, especially the ones mentioned in the Torah.

Tu B'Shevat is a transliteration of 'the fifteenth of Shevat', the Hebrew date specified as the new year for trees.

The Torah forbids us to eat the fruit of new trees for three years after they are planted. The fourth year's fruit was to be tithed to the Temple.

And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as forbidden; three years shall it be as forbidden unto you; it shall not be eaten. And in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy, for giving praise unto the LORD. But in the fifth year may ye eat of the fruit thereof...
     - Leviticus 19:23-25

Tu B'Shevat was counted as the birthday for all trees for tithing purposes: like the beginning of a fiscal year. It gradually gained religious significance, with a Kabbalistic fruit-eating ceremony (like the Passover seder) being introduced during the 1600s.

In the 16th century, kabbalists, developed a seder ritual conceptually similar to the Pesach (Passover) seder, discussing the spiritual significance of fruits. This custom spread primarily in Sephardic communities, but in recent years it has been getting more attention among Ashkenazim.

We eat plenty of fruit on Tu B'Shevat, particularly the kinds associated with Israel. The Torah praises seven 'fruits' in particular: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

A short blessing is recited after eating any fruit. A special, longer blessing is recited for the fruits mentioned in the Torah.

At the Tu BíShevat seder, it is traditional to drink four cups of wine. The First Cup of Wine is all white wine and symbolizes winter and when Godís energy infused the creation process with initial life.

The Second Cup of Wine is mostly white, with a little red mixed in, to symbolize the passing of the seasons and the mystical concept of formation and birth, often associated with water.

The Third Cup of Wine is mostly red with a little of white mixed in and symbolizes once again the change of seasons and the mystical concept of creation.

The Fourth Cup of Wine is all red, symbolizing the mystical concept of fire and the idea that within all living things dwells a spark of God.

For Tu BíShevat, some Jews plant trees or collect money towards planting trees in Israel.

This year, 2017, Tu BíShevat begins at sunset on Friday, February 10 and ends at nightfall Saturday, February 11.

1 February 2017

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