Tu B’Shevat is a Jewish New Year for the trees celebrated right after the winter has come to end and the blossoming season of spring has begun. During this day, a festive meal called Tu B’Shevat Seder which resembles a Passover Seder is done which features the different varieties of fruits that the bountiful land of Israel is known for.
Tu B’Shevat Seder Origin
Tu B’Shevat Seder is a ceremonial rite that evolves through time in the modern day Israel. It is considered as a manner to appreciate the natural ecosystem and be grateful for having a bountiful land despite it is surrounded by huge and vast desert lands. Furthermore, the Jews honor the land of Israel by enjoying its fruits thus, having the opportunity to acknowledge the hand of the Creator for the wonder of transformed life.
Seder by definition is a ceremonial meal done during a certain festival in Israel, usually during the Passover. Tu B’Shevat Seder however, has began in the 16th century when the Rabbi, named Isaac Luria established a Seder that is closely similar to Passover Seder which features the wine with “Seven Species”. The eating of Seven Species was a traditional customary by the Jews during Tu B’Shevat when the temple was destroyed.
Customary Procedure of Tu B’Shevat Seder
There are modern ways to celebrate the seder in Tu B’Shevat, but the basic elements and components of this festive meal remains the same and Jews give a high regard to this symbols.
Like a Passover meal or seder, there are four cups of wine with different shades as described with corresponding meaning and interpretations in a Tu B’Shevat Seder
- First cup- white wine implies the icy conditions of winter.
- Second cup- white wine with a little portion of red wine signifies the upcoming spring.
- Third cup- red wine with a mixture of a little amount of white which indicates the warmness of spring.
- Fourth cup- pure red wine denotes the heat of summer and the full growth of nature.
The ceremonial foods are those recognized in the scripture as richly found in the land of Israel.
- Grapes or Raisins
Other nuts such as walnuts, almonds pistachios and fruits with peels such as orange, avocado etc. are also included in this meal.
- Lighting of candles-a customary manner to consecrate the time.
- Pouring the white wine. The Hebrew blessing is recited over the cup.
- The Eating of fruits with recited blessing.
- Reciting the blessing for the unusual experiences.
- Eating the second plate where barley and wheat were there.
- Drinking the pinkish wine with a Hebrew blessing recited over.
- Drinking the rosy blend wine where Hebrew blessing is also recited.
- Drinking the pure red wine with Hebrew blessing recited.
- Offering a prayer for closing the ceremonial rite.
- 10.Reciting the closing blessing.
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