Friday, February 13, 2015

A Real Treet

The purpose of this blog is to add something tasty to your Shabbat table. Please print and share.

PomegranatesThe emails are still coming in in reply to my wish for a "good news" news service.

As a reader pointed out, there already is the Someone else has nominated

But then there were the readers who directed me to websites dedicated to good news from Israel, such as this facebook group and Israel's Good News Newsletter and Take A Pen and Israel21c.

On that note, last week marked the greatest Jewish holiday that nobody seems to celebrate. According to the Talmud, it's one of four Rosh Hashanas.

Here's a clue from the Seinfeld celebration:

TubishVat 5775

It's called "Tu Bishvat" - the New Year of the Trees.

Some have spun it as a paen to the Land of Israel. I'm not opposing them, but I see it differently.

Trees are worth celebrating in their own right.

They are a frequent subject of poets.

Remember this one?
I think that I shall never see   
A poem lovely as a tree.   
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest   
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;   
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;   
A tree that may in summer wear   
A nest of robins in her hair;   
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;   
Who intimately lives with rain. 
Poems are made by fools like me,   
But only God can make a tree.

- Joyce Kilmer 
So in honor of the trees, please allow me to introduce the muricata, from this week's Amazing Nature series.

muricata fruit

Ever seen one of these in the grocery store? Probably not. But it's a pity.

The muricata is a juicy edible fruit cultivated in Central and South America. It has a delicious, tangy taste. Some say it tastes like candy.

One muricata fruit will give you about the same amount of energy as a candy bar, but it’s a different kind of energy — it gives you a sustained energy that doesn’t make your body’s insulin go crazy like processed sugars.

Plus, unlike candy bars, when you eat one of these you also get a lot of protein, fiber and vitamin C, plus vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium and even some copper — all essential vitamins and minerals for good health.

Some people claim that muricata has medicinal value as well. An extract from the leaves has been reportedly successful in lowering elevated blood pressure (by decreasing peripheral vascular resistance).

In laboratory studies, muricata extracts can kill some types of liver and breast cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy drugs. (But we need more studies to know if it can work as a cancer treatment.)
Ma rabu ma’asecha A-donoy kulam bechachmah asita malah haaretz kinyanecha
How great are Your works, God, all of them you made with wisdom, filling your Earth!
Tehillim/Psalms 104:24

Is the muricata what King David meant when he wrote that?

Photo: © Muhammad Mahdi Karim,

Shabbat Shalom

PS - The muricata is a sample of our Amazing Nature program.
PPS - We are still adding new Purim and Pesach ideas to


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