Celebrating Tu B’Sh’vat, The New Year For The Trees
By Allison Teegardin
Tu B’Sh’vat, the New Year for the trees, will be celebrated this year on Monday, January 17, 2022 (the 15 day of Shevat). The holiday is celebrated during this time as it is when the sap begins to flow in the trees and fruit begins to form after a cold, winter hibernation, thus marking the New Year for the trees. Although considered a minor holiday, and one that occurs for many during the cold winter, there are many ways it is celebrated around the world.
In Israel, Tu B’Sh’vat is a day when trees are planted and there is a focus on environmental awareness.
Around the world, one of the most common practices for celebrating this holiday is to eat fruits from the seven species associated with the land of Israel, “…a land of wheat, barley, vines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey.” (Deut. 8:8) The fruit from vines are grapes and the honey is from dates, not honeybees. Some people even observe by eating the different fruits with four cups of wine at a Tu B’Sh’vat Seder.
Locally, several Austin area congregations are celebrating in various ways.
Congregation Agudas Achim
Come together as a community with Congregation Agudas Achim to celebrate Tu B’Shvat and honor Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in a morning of social action projects deeply rooted in Tikkun Olam. The Mitzvah Fest event will take place on January 16, 2022 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm in the CAA parking lot.
Congregation Agudas Achim is glad to once again partner with Adath Jeshurun in Minnetonka, Minnesota, for their second annual online Tu B’Shevat seder. Join them on Zoom at 4:30 pm on Sunday, January 16 for this event. Pre-registration is required.
While not required, participants may wish to have the following on hand for the seder:
* Fruits with a hard peel/shell (orange, almond, coconut, banana, etc)
* Fruits with a pit at the center (dates, cherries, avocado, olives, etc)
* Fruits you can eat whole (figs, raisins, berries, grapes, etc)
* Red wine or grape juice
* White wine or grape juice
More information and registration are available by clicking here.
Mitzvah Fest event details. Photo courtesy of Congregation Agudas Achim.
Congregation Beth Israel and Temple Beth Shalom
Clergy from both Congregation Beth Israel and Temple Beth Shalom will lead Erev Shabbat Services and explore the topic of environmental justice from a Jewish lens. The MLK Shabbat is on Friday, January 14 at 7:00 pm. Use this link to join.
On Saturday, January 15 at 9:00 am there will be Torah study led online by Rabbi Steven Folberg. Use this link to join. Also, on Saturday at 4:30 pm there is Seudah Shlishit with CBI’s ISJL program associate, Sophie Bernstein. This program is for older teens and adults and will take participants from the elements – earth, fire, water, wind – to what climate change has to do with people. Join Congregation Beth Israel and Institute of Southern Jewish Life Program Associate Sophie Bernstein to learn the importance of Shomer HaAdamah, or protecting the earth. It will conclude with Havdalah. Use this link to register ahead.
MLK Shabbat event details. Photo courtesy of Congregation Beth Israel.
Congregation Shir Ami
Join Shir Ami chaverim and Rabbi Reice for a Kabbalistic birthday party to celebrate Tu B’Shvat, the birthday of the trees at the Tu B’Shvat Seder on January 16 at 5:00 pm.
To participate fully in the short seder at home, have the following foods on your table:
* Both red and white wine or grape juice, preferably in clear cups or glasses.
* At least two types of fruits with peels or shells, such as oranges, pomegranates, pomelos, tangerines, mandarins, grapefruit, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, almonds.
* At least two types of fruits with a hard pit, such as olives, dates, apricots, cherries, peaches, mangoes.
* At least two types of fruits eaten whole such as figs, apples, starfruit, berries (blackberries, blueberries), grapes, raisins.
Congregation Tiferet Israel
Tour an organic veggie farm – Green Gate Farms – try new fruits and enjoy a Tu B’Shevat seder on Monday, January 17 at 11:00 am. All ages welcome! Fees apply. Register online.
Tu B’Shevat seder event details. Photo courtesy of Congregation Tiferet Israel.
If you will be out celebrating Tu B’Sh’vat, share your photos on Facebook and Instagram and tag us!
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