New Year For Trees

Tu B'Shvat טו בשבט
There is no plant without an angel in Heaven tending it and telling it, ‘Grow!'
- Rabbi Simon, Genesis Rabba 10:7

New Year For Trees

Occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat, Tu B'Shvat is also called the New Year of the Trees. Having modelled itself on the Pesach Seder, the Tu Bishvat seder, full of imagery and symbolism, is enjoying a come back by many Jews. Divided into four sections that represent the four seasons, the seder os also divided into four mystical 'spheres,' each of which represents a different relationship between humanity and the environment. The Tu Bishvat seder includes:

1. Four cups of wine in varying shades of white through red to represent the seasons

or

2. Three types of fruit which are said to represent the different ways of being in the world:

  • Those with tough outer shells and edible interiors such as melons, peanuts, pomegranates, coconuts, citrus, etc
  • Fruits with edible exteriors but inedible pits such as dates, olives, plums, peaches, apples, etc
  • Fruits that are entirely edible such as berries, figs, grapes, etc