Thursday, February 01, 2007

Celebrating the multi-cultural world of spring holidays

My almond tree is flowering and Tu B'Shvat is but two days away. This year, Tu Bi-Shvat falls on the first Shabbat of February, which is, of course, International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.

This truly serendipitous concurrence of happy events provides not only new ideas for toppings, and opportunities for kiddush, but also opens up many avenues for sermons, like: We know that Abraham ate ice cream when he was old, because we read: "ve-hashem beireikh et Avraham ba-kol" and the gematria of "ba-kol" is equal to the gematria of "glida". There are also the striking similarities between Ice Cream and Manna (mentioned in this week's parasha) [ e.g. both melt in the sun, both are served in round scoops (ve-hu ke-zera gad), white (lavan) and eaten in sugar cones (ve-ta'amo ke-tzapihit bi-dvash). For the more mystically minded, it might be noted that, strangely, the gematria of "ice cream" is the same as "tzli eish".

For information on the origins of this great international, visit:
The holiday is also celebrated religiously by our Masorti Nahal units at Kibbutz Ketura: (And now I'm off to stock up, as my eldest just informed me that Garin Sneh will be celebrating at our home).

Any questions on the various halakhot, minhagim, humrot and kulot of ICFBD can be sent directly to me. I will either answer them, or dip them in chocolate.

Happy ICFBD all.

Written by Rabbi Avinoam Sharon, crossposted to Jewschool

1 comment:

Pragmatician said...

I asked some colleagues how we know Avaraham ate ice cream and they were all mystified.
The answer, gave them all a good laugh.