Celebration is central to Judaism. From life-cycle events, to holidays, our lives are full of opportunities to celebrate.
At times the overwhelmingness of what is broken in our world and the difficult task at hand to repair it, can lead us to be pessimism and despair. But a person who has sunken to this state cannot hope to get up each day committed to what needs to be done.
What are we celebrating? We are celebrating the amazing gift of life, the bounty and diversity of our natural world, and our coming together to do some repairing.
Integral to Jewish Earth Week is the Tu B’Shvat Seder – an ancient mystical ritual celebration.
Tu B’ Shevat Seders
The newest edition of Kabbalist’s Feast by Rabbi Yonah Bookstein will be ready for download January 25th.
Supplies for the Seder
Dark and light grape juice, red and white wine, beer, cake, olives, dates, grapes, figs, pomegranates, walnuts, almonds, carob, apples, pears, and if you can, candied etrog rind. In addition, bring other fruits with inedible shells or peels, fruits with edible skins, but have seeds, fruits that are totally eaten, and fragrant fruits. Use as many different kinds of fruit as you can find, especially exotic fruit that you rarely eat.
Bring kippahs for those who may want to wear one during the ceremony. Also, have prayer books or benchers (booklets with the Grace after Meals) available for the After Blessing.
Guidelines for the Seder
Gather a group of friends, and ask each to bring something for the feast. Set the table with a fine tablecloth, candles, flowers etc. Make a large seder plate, or smaller seder plates, with the different fruits to place on the table. Remember to check dried fruit for infestations before setting them out for your seder by opening them up and looking inside.
Reprint enough copies of the Seder for one for every two people.
Have a good time – there is really no “wrong” way to do the Seder. Where it says “PARTICIPANT” we suggest letting each guest recite one part and then passing the reading around to the next. Use this Seder guide as a roadmap and feel free to improvise, make additions, sing and dance!