Why do we dress up on Purim?

When my kids were young, our family spent hours discussing what costumes we should all wear for Purim. First thought about who or what we wanted to be, then the hunt began for the perfect, funny outfit that seemed realistic but was still cute and of course, easy to put together. Today, my children come up with a family theme and everyone co-ordinates their costume to match. One year everyone wore Dodgers outfits; another year everyone was a super hero.

But why do we dress up for this holiday and not others? I found this article on Chabad.org. https://www.chabad.org/holidays/purim/article_cdo/aid/1456808/jewish/Why-Do-We-Dress-Up-on-Purim.htm or you might like this article from unitedwithisrael.org. https://unitedwithisrael.org/why-do-we-wear-purim-costumes/

Both articles cite the theme of Purim where everything is hidden. Esther hides her Jewish ancestry, Haman loves the idea of dressing up in the king's clothing, etc. another possibility is that in order to treat everyone equal, rich and poor alike, the costumes hide a persons status in society.

Whatever the reasoning, it is always fun to see the costumes that people create!
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Tu Be'shvat and Valentines Day, a match made in Heaven

With the holiday of Tu Be'shvat just over and Valentine's Day around the corner, I became curious if there was a connection between the two. Tu Be'shvat celebrates the tress and Valentines Day celebrates love. Is there a connection?
Yes! In fact there is. Tu Be'shvat has the tradition of being a holy time for making a shidduch, a matchmaking connection. Here in Chicago, the Chicago Chesed Fund organizes a full day of learning Talmud in the hopes of promoting new marriages. While Valentine's Day celebrates romantic relationships that are already in place, Tu Be'shvat promotes new romantic relationships. Who Knew?
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Tu Be'shvat

Browsing through the grocery store this afternoon, I noticed a table with fruit trays specifically for Tu Be'shvat. Traditionally, the fruits mentioned are wheat, barley,grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. Growing up, I always associated Tu Be'shvat with Bokser,dried carob. I was curious today why this item was considered a Tu Be'shvat fruit and finally looked it up on google, where else?!

According to Mosaic Magazine, dried carob has been associated with the land of Israel for centuries, despite not being mentioned in the Torah as one of the 7 fruits. Mosaic magazine suggests that since dried carob has the ability to withstand the arduous trek from Israel to Europe,it became a symbol of the land that people could relate to.

The article goes on to discuss thoughts and theories of the Talmud. I have included the link for you to read and enjoy.

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