You may have heard of a Passover seder, but did you know that many people celebrate Tu BiSh’vat with seders also?
With the revival of Jewish mysticism—kabbalah—in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Tu BiSh’vat received renewed attention and importance. The kabbalists created a special ritual, modeled after the Passover seder, which celebrated God’s presence in the natural world.
The Tu BiSh’vat seder, full of imagery and symbolism, is divided into four sections that represent the four seasons … As with the Passover seder, the Tu BiSh’vat seder evolved to include four cups of wine or grape juice … in varying shades of red, which represent the seasons: white for the bleak time of winter, white with a bit of red to represent the earth’s awakening in early spring, red with a bit of white representing the blossoming of late spring, and dark red to represent the fullness of all the growing plants and vegetation along with the heat of summer
Often we group the fruits into three types: fruits with tough outer shells and edible interiors (melons, peanuts, pomegranates, coconuts, citrus, etc), fruits with edible exteriors and inedible pits (dates, olives, plums, peaches, apples, etc) and fruits that are entirely edible (berries, figs, grapes, etc).
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