Tu Bishvat — tremendous resources on neohasid.org

Location: Boulder CO, Berkeley CA and worldwide

Time: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 5:00PM

Tu Bishvat — the full moon of Shvat — the New Year for the Trees is Wednesday! It's the Kabbalistic celebration of the cosmic Tree of Life, and it's been the focal point of Jewish ecology since the 70's. There are beautiful rituals, and NeoHasid has tremendous resources you can use to celebrate, including 3 different haggadot, source sheets, and the original Tu Bishvat blessing. Go to: http://neohasid.org/resources/tu_bishvat/

Tu Bishvat is the time we pray for the fruit trees to have enough water, sunshine, and love to be able to produce for all of us (all the creatures, not just humans). And it's a time when we reflect on fixing the "sin of the human eating the fruit of the tree of knowing" — which essentially means reflecting on how much and how greedily we take, and how we might change that.

You can get all the resources you need to make a seder/ritual meal (except the fruit) on neohasid.org. You can also get a simple 1-page haggadah/guide on neohasid.org. Here's a list of ingredients for an easy seder: 3 kinds of nuts (like walnut, almond, coconut), 3 kinds of fruit with pits (like olives, dates, avocado), 3 kinds of fruit with edible skin (like apple, grapes, peach, orange, carob), two bottles of white grape juice and one of red. The guide online will tell you how to do it. There's a list below of all the other Tu Bishvat resources you'll find.

And here's a bit of Tu Bishvat Torah, paraphrased from Pirkei d'Rabi Eliezer ch.12. It's from my book on ecology and Kabbalah — which is almost almost completed.


>When God created the first human being, Adam Harishon, and stood the creature up, it was magnificent like one of the ministering angels. God said: "If I let this one be the unique and only human in the world, then all the other creatures will see it and say, 'this one created us'. Therefore, 'it is not good for the adam to be alone'. (Gen 2:8) So God split the human into male and female.

>When the Earth heard that there would be human beings would multiply, she trembled and quaked. The Earth said: "I do not have in me the strength to feed the flocks of humanity." God said: "I will feed humanity at night with sleep, and so share the burden with you."

According to this midrash, humanity must bet fed by our sleep, by our resting, by our dreaming, by being connected to the realm of the unconscious, to the realm of the soul. If we are not fed in this way, we can (will?) overwhelm and destroy the Earth.

What about the way we live now makes it hard to connect to the unconscious? How can we strengthen our connection to it?


If you're in the Boulder CO area next week, I'll be leading a community-wide seder at Nevei Kodesh. And if you're in the Pioneer Valley of MA next Shabbat (Jan 17-18), I'll be leading Tu Bishvat learning at the Jewish Community of Amherst. And of you're in the Bay area, you can fond out about EcoJews of the Bay's seder at: https://www.facebook.com/events/601539973233485/


Tu Bish'vat on neohasid.org:

Find ideas about leading the seder, commentary on the JNF, the prayer for the trees from the original seder, texts to learn and teach at your seder, and more.

"The works" for Tu Bishvat

Haggadot, brakhot, text study sheets, in one zip file. Direct download — 1 MB.

A simple Tu Bishvat Haggadah

An all-English simple haggadah for Tu Bishvat with intro.

A basic version of the well-known flowchart Haggadah

An haggadah all in English with a smidgeon of Kabbalah, accessible for beginners to Kabbalah or to Jewish practices.

One-page flowchart Haggadah plus more links

A flowchart haggadah on a single sheet, in three versions including. Plus some quick links to other resources.

The Ultimate Text Crunching Sheet for Tu Bish'vat

Study, for many days or for one seder, some of the great Jewish and Kabbalistic texts on fruit, trees and the earth.

Shirat ha'asavim ~ The Song of the Grasses

A rough recording of the well-known Naomi Shemer tune, in time for Tu Bish'vat.

How to make a Kabbalstic Tu Bishvat Seder

Instructions on how to run a seder, how to use the blessing from the first Tu Bishvat seder, and how to use the One-page Haggadah chart.

A Prayer for the Earth – Hebrew and English

Y'kum Purkan Lish'maya: A prayer for the earth, for use in your synagogue, minyan, or havurah; for Earth Day, Rainbow Day, Shabbat Noach, Shabbat Behar/Bechukotai, everyday.

Blessing from the first published Tu Bish'vat Seder

From the 16/17th century seder manual, P'ri Eitz Hadar, based on the Kabbalah of the four worlds. The original seder calls on us to bring blessing to all creation.

The Giving Tree: A Way to Honor Our Vision for Israel

Planting a tree for the future sounds like second nature, a wise investment for both Israel and the planet. But whether you think about doing this at Tu Bish'vat or during the Omer when it's really planting time, it's a little more complicated than donating to JNF…

Birkat Ha-ilanot

Once a year there is Jewish custom is to say a special blessing on flowering fruit trees. It happens in spring, especially during the Omer, but it's also a good teaching for Tu Bish'vat. You'll also find some other good tree texts here.

Longer meditations on Pri Etz Hadar

Imagine a Jewish practice which has the purpose of restoring all the species and creatures, and all the sparks they contain, to the fullness of blessing.

Tu Bish'vat wisdom

Three teachings about how holy eating brings blessing to all life and all creatures, submitted by Jacob Fine.

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