SUNSET TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7: Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for Trees, falls on the 15th day of the month of Shevat. This year, it begins on Tuesday evening, February 7.
Joe Lewis—a Jewish scholar and the creator of a series of Singlish books for easily enjoying Hebrew traditions—wrote today’s story:
During our long exile, Kabbalists developed the tradition of holding a festive meal with prescribed rituals—a “seder” meal akin to the Passover seder—reflecting on the relationship between God, humanity, and the agricultural products that sustain us.
Today, the Tu Bishvat seder has become a popular custom, and many synagogues hold one; it’s an opportunity to eat fruits, nuts and other produce of Israel; to consider the miraculous process by which we sustain our own lives by eating agricultural products; and to explore our responsibility to sustainable agriculture and the planet that feeds us.
Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online magazine covering religion and cultural diversity.