Originally just the day when trees were considered a year older, relevant in the ancient world for tithing purposes—Tu Bi’Shevat was transformed by the kabbalists of Safed into a celebration of nature, its fruits, and the Divine “tree” reaching toward us. At Tu Bi’Shevat seders (the four cups of wine borrowed loosely from the Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people’s liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God “passed over” the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc). Lit. Order. The festive meal conducted on Passover night, in a specific order with specific rituals to symbolize aspects of the Exodus from Egypt. It is conducted following the haggadah, a book for this purpose. The mystics of Sefat also created a seder for Tu B’shvat, the new year of the trees.), revitalized in modern times and inspired with an environmental consciousness, we drink the fruit of the vine and eat many different kinds of fruit from trees—from the tough hard walnut to the luscious pomegranate—evoking different aspects of the Divine and of humanity.
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