Dear Friends of Rabbanith Ruth Menashe, her family and MIDRASH BEN ISH HAI,

Thank you for the outpouring of love and respect that was shown to the Rabbanith Ruth Menashe (Ruth bat Ahuva) at the Young Israel of Great Neck. The extraordinary attendance at such short notice was nothing short of humbling and a deep and meaningful tribute to our beloved Rabbanith Ruth.

The Rabbanith and family will Be'ezrath Hashem be flying to Israel for the burial and the first part of Shib'ah. A eulogy will take place at the Shamgar in Jerusalem on Wednesday night, February 25th, Ohr LeZayin Adar. The eulogy will begin at 9:00 p.m. and end at 9:30 promptly.

We will then accompany the Rabbanith for Burial at Har Hazetim. We invite anyone who is comfortable accompanying us to join us. Security will be provided.

The family will sit Shiva at 38 Binyamin Metudela St, apartment #12 in Rehavia, Jerusalem, from Thursday morning, 7th Adar (February 26) through Mosei Shabbath (Saturday night), February 28th (Ohr L'Yod Adar).
The family will return to America to sit Shib'ah in Great Neck, NY, on Sunday evening Ohr L'Yod Alef Adar (March 1) from 7:00 p.m. through Wednesday morning, at 7 Linden Blvd., Great Neck, NY, 11021.

Prayer times are as follows:
Shaharith 7:00 a.m.
Minha And Arbith 5:20 p.m.

The family will have a large book at the entrance of the house. We request that all individuals who have been touched by the Rabbanith write about an interaction (or interactions) with her that has moved them.

Condolences may be sent via the contact form at

Tu Bishbat

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Tu Bishbat  (Ashk:Tu Bishvat)

Tu Bishbat (Ashk:Tu Bishvat)


Even though Tu Bi’shbat (the 15th of the month of Shebat) is one of the days of the Shobabeem when fasting is prescribed, nevertheless, no Ta’anith (fasting) is permitted on this day since it is the Rosh Hashana (New Year) of the trees.

This is the time of year, in the Land of Israel, when most of the rains have already fallen and the new fruits start to ripen (Hanita – in Hebrew). Those fruits which ripened before Tu Bishbat are considered as belonging to the prior year for the purposes of Ma’aser (tithes) and those which begin to ripen after this date, belong to the next..

It is a good custom to increase the number of fruits one eats, and to sing songs and praises concerning them – as is laid out in the tiqqun. It is known that, in Qabbalistic terms, by saying the blessings on fruits we cause the continuation of the abundance above (Shefa’ ‘Elyon) and the angel in charge of that particular fruit receives this abundance in order to cause the fruit to grow once again.

There are supposed to be thirty (30) types of fruit:

10 (from ‘Olam Habbereeah) which have no pit and no peel, but are eaten the way they are.

  • Grapes
  • Figs
  • Apples
  • Ethrogh (Citron)
  • Lemon
  • Pears
  • Quince
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Carob

10 (from ‘Olam Hayeseera) which have pits inside.

  • Olives
  • Dates
  • Cherries
  • Jujubes
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Apricots
  • Morels
  • Medlars
  • Azaroles

10 (from ‘Olam Ha’aseeya) which have a peel.

  • Pomegranates
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Chestnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Coconuts
  • Capers
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistahios
  • Pecans

When eating these fruits, there is an opinion that one should have in mind (the Kawwanah) that through eating them we are making a Tiqqun (reparation) for the Sin of Adam, who sinned by eating the forbidden fruit. In truth, we should have this Kawwanah all year round, but on Tu Bishbat it is all the more appropriate.

While partaking of the fruits, one should read the portions from the Torah, Nebee-eem (Prophets), Kethubeem and the Holy Zohar that have been compiled for this evening, as can be found in the booklet Peri ‘Es Hadar.

The drinking of Red and white wines is also prescribed.

Our great sage, Hakham Yoseph Hayyim, ‘a”h, states that the Saddiqim (righteous) are likened to a tree (Saddiq Kattamar Yifrah) and that the wicked are likened to grass (Bifrowah Resha’im Kemo ‘Eseb). Just like grass has no roots, so too the wicked have no roots or foundation and even a small wind can uproot them.

The righteous, on the other hand, have deep roots like the palm tree, making it virtually impossible to uproot. And even when they leave this world their ways and teachings will remain and continue to flourish through their children and students.

The Jewish people are likened to the vine. Just as the vine is weak and soft (when compared to other trees), but its fruit which can be used both for eating and drinking is excellent, so too the Children of Israel, even though we may be soft and weak, our Torah and Miswoth bear fruit.

Taken from the writings of the Hakham, Rabbi Ya’aqob Menashe.


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