by Rabbi Saks and the Bet Ha’am Garden Committee
Please join us on January 27, 2021 at 7:00 PM.
Registration details will be in the Thursday weekly email.
Ordinarily we would be celebrating our Tu BiSh’vat seder at Bet Ha’am with seder foods prepared by the garden committee and with a wonderful potluck dinner. We hope that next year we will be back together in person.
This year, we are not joining together for dinner; instead, we are celebrating our seder with a delicious dessert prepared in the safety of your own kitchen. You may wish to have some items on hand to enjoy the seder in its entirety.
The Tu Bish’vat seder was originally created in the 16th century in Israel by Rabbi Yitchak Luria. The seder evokes Kabbalistic themes of the repair and strengthening of the Tree of Life. Since the 1970s, people have added more ecological themes to celebrate the fruits of the earth. The fruit and nuts that we eat and the wine we drink remind us that our purpose is to live in balance and harmony with all of God’s creation.
So you may wish to have some wine and/or grape juice, and some fruits and nuts. We will drink four cups of wine/juice during the seder so have some small cups available. We start with white, then mix white and red, and by the fourth cup, we drink just red. You can also mix wine and grape juice instead of having just one or the other.
Here are our suggestions for your fruits. The first group is fruit with shells or an inedible exterior: pomegranates, oranges, grapefruits, or bananas. The second group is fruits with pits, such as dates, olives, apricots, peaches, and plums/prunes. The third group is fruits that are entirely edible, such as figs, raisins, strawberries, apples, or pears. These are suggestions!
Dessert will be at the end of the seder. During dessert, we will view a short video about the garden committee’s etrog (citron) project. Afterwards there will be time for schmoozing.
Thank you so much for participating in this event and we pray for everyone’s continued health so we can be together in person next year.
To help families celebrate Tu BiSh’vat, the birthday of the trees, the Garden Committee has made available some activity sheets. You will find a mitzvah tree coloring sheet and various fruit tree coloring sheets, to symbolize spring and holiday fruits; a word search which includes a Tu BiSh’vat glossary; and a crossword puzzle. Alternately to the coloring activities, you might consider having paper and coloring materials on hand to create or draw a tree or environmental scene inspired by an image. And here are website links for family activities:
- Planting, recipes, and books, oh my! See what PJ Library has for you!
- How fun! Make your very own crafty Tu BiSh’vat seder plate.
- Test your knowledge of the festival with this Tu BiSh’vat quiz.
- Why do we plant parsley at a festival for trees? Read all about it! Or try a celery option.
Here is a printout of the text for our Seder. We will be showing this as slides, but if you do not have access to a screen, or if you would like to have a copy of text available to you in addition to what’s on the screen, this printout is for you.