Features this month continue with a description of a TuB’Shvat Seder by April of agru.etsy.com. Seder is a Hebrew word meaning "order" (usually associated with Passover.) We’ve teamed up April’s informative article with some beautiful and practical art created by EtsyChai team members. Enjoy!
In most of the Northern Hemisphere, it seems like an odd time to celebrate Tu B’Shevat: the Jewish birthday of the trees and, more recently, the annual renewal of earth’s resources. But Israel’s rainy season is coming to an end and the plants there are beginning to bud out and grow.
One way to bridge this disconnect is to have a Tu B’Shevat Seder, a tradition that is rooted in kabbalistic ritual.
Though there is no specific text as in Passover’s Haggadah, there are several elements that are uniform in this celebration. Also unlike Passover, this Seder has no food restrictions, though there are certain elements that are universal to the variety of available texts, both in stores and online (available by searching for “Tu B’Shevat Seder”). Or one can feel free to script their own Seder, making it more personal and meaningful to the people who attend.
Four cups of wine, each of a different color: dark red, light red, rose, and white are served, with the appropriate blessing said:
If there are children at the Seder, you can substitute four different colored juices such as pineapple, orange, red grape, and white grape.
1) Fruits or nuts with an inedible outer shell and an edible inner core: pineapple, coconut, orange, banana, walnut, pecan, grapefruit, star fruit, pine nut, pomegranate, papaya, brazil nut, pistachio, or almond. (Note: purchase the whole fruit or nut so you can remove the outer shell during the Seder).
2) Fruits with edible outer flesh and inedible cores: olive, date, cherry, loquat, peach, apricot, persimmon, avocado, plum, and hackberry. (Note: purchase the whole fruit so you can remove the pit or core during the Seder).
3) Fruits which are edible throughout. Here no protective shells, neither internal nor external are needed. The symbolic fruits may be eaten entirely and include: strawberry, grape, raisin, fig, raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, carob, apple, pear, kiwi or quince.
One should always include some fruit that is being eaten for the first time during the year (since Rosh Hashanah). Traditionally carob was eaten, though you can choose anything that falls into this category. Again, the appropriate blessing should be said:
Baruch ata Adonai, Elohaynu melech ha’olam, boray pri ha’etz (Blessed are you oh Lord our G-d, Sovereign of the universe, who created the fruit of the trees.)
Discuss the significance of the holiday, how it ties into present times and your personal piece of the world. Most importantly, enjoy!