Seder Tu-Bishvat

1763 was the year that the book “Chemdat Yamim”- חמדת ימים- was published. It describes the way to celebrate a Tu-Bishvat Seder. The people who published it were living in Safed. As Kabbalists, they decided to mark the day in a special way.

First of all, the Seder includes eating 30(!) different kinds of fruit grown in Israel. In the Seder you drink, just like at Passover, four cups of wine, although for Tu Bishvat you drink a variety of red and white wines, symbolizing the changing of the seasons:

White wine- יין לבן- symbolizes winter.
Red wine- יין אדום – symbolizes summer.

The two remaining glasses of wine are mixed red and white, which symbolize spring and autumn.

During the Seder we recite prayers and sayings about the nature of trees and their fruit; we also and read sections regarding the fruits of the land from the Torah, Mishnah, Talmud and the Zohar.

Rabbi Chaim Vital divided the fruits eaten into three groups:

1. Fruits that you eat and throw their peel for example bananas, orange and nuts.
2. Then there are the fruits that you eat the outside of and then throw away their pips or cores, such as apples and olives.
3. The third group is related to fruits that you eat the entirety of, such as figs, carob and strawberries.

 

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