January 19, 2011

What Will Your Tu Bishvat Seder Look Like?

By Haggadot

Somehow, in the last 20 or so years, the Tu Bishvat seder has become an increasingly popular Tu Bishvat ritual. Tu Bishvat seders, modeled after the Passover seder and created by 16th century Kabbalists, have become an important way of marking this date in the Jewish calendar, especially in the green age of environmentalism. I have very early memories of attending Tu Bishvat seders. Actually, I dreaded these seders because they were all about eating the fruit of the land of Israel, and I don’t eat fruit! The only parts of the seder I ever partook in were eating crackers and drinking grape juice. One of the great things about a Tu Bishvat seder, even for the most observant Jew, is that the texts and readings are flexible. In creating your own seder, you may choose to read excerpts from The Giving Tree or Hebrew poetry about the land of Israel or commentaries on Biblical imagery that relates to nature. Many of the already compiled seder texts relate to Kabbalah, spirituality, and meditation. One thing is certain if you are preparing a Tu Bishvat seder—you will need LOTS of fruit! The following blessing for eating fruit might come in handy: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam Borei peri ha-etz Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe Who creates fruit of trees. Here are some helpful resources for preparing your very own Tu Bishvat seder. Good luck! Hillel’s Tu Bishvat Seder and Helpful Information http://www.hillel.org/jewish/holidays/tubshevat/default.htm Ritual Well’s Tu Bishvat Seder http://www.ritualwell.org/holidays/tubshvat/PrimaryObject.2005-04-23.4355 Jewcology Tu Bishvat resources: http://www.jewcology.com/resources MyJewishLearning.com’s Tu Bishvat resources: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Tu_Bishvat.shtml

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