Please join us for our next Shabbat service, which includes a Tu B’Shevat Seder, led by Rabbi Joseph and Cantor Weishaar.
Tu BiShvat or the “New Year of the Trees” is Jewish Arbor Day. The holiday is observed on the 15th (tu) of the Hebrew month of Shvat. Scholars believe that originally Tu BiShvat was an agricultural festival, marking the emergence of spring. In the 17th century, Kabbalists created a ritual for Tu BiShvat that is similar to a Passover seder. Today, many Jews hold a modern version of the Tu BiShvat seder each year. The holiday also has become a tree-planting festival in Israel, in which Israelis and Jews around the world plant trees in honor or in memory of loved ones and friends.
A Tu BiShvat seder, full of imagery and symbolism, is often divided into four sections that represent the four seasons. As with the Passover seder, the Tu BiShvat seder evolved to include four cups of wine or grape juice, but in varying shades of red, which represent the seasons: white for the bleak time of winter, white with a bit of red to represent the earth’s awakening in early spring, red with a bit of white representing the blossoming of late spring, and dark red to represent the fullness of all the growing plants and vegetation along with the heat of summer.
These categories are said to represent different seasons and/or ways of being in the world, often following kabbalistic categories.
If you are planning to come or even thinking you will be there, please RSVP to Ellen Levin. We are just trying to get an approximate number since there will be tables set up and special refreshments for the Tu B’Shevat Seder.