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The New Year of the Trees - Tu b'Shvat Seder

Planting a sapling in dirt
24/01/2024 18:00

Did you know there is a Jewish new year for the trees? And that there is a fun ceremony to go with it? If you are in the Netherlands, we’ve got a Tu b’Shvat seder for you! Whether you are new to this Jewish ritual or familiar with it, you are welcome to join! It should be fun. The company will be warm and the challah will be vegan. Join us!

On Wednesday 20 January, Oy Vey and Ruach Shalom will celebrate Tu b’Shvat, the New Year of the Trees. We have reserved space in a location with a vegan kitchen, so our meal will come closer than ever to eating like we might have in Gan Eden.

Shvat is a time of year that in Israel the first signs of spring become visible and the almond tree blossoms. That is why we especially eat fruits and grains that grow in Israel and are mentioned in the Torah: dates, figs, olives, grapes, pomegranates, wheat and barley. The Tu b’Shvat seder was conceived in the 16th century by Isaac Luria and the Kabbalists of Sefad and has become popular in Jewish Renewal communities.

During the seder, we eat 3 different kinds of fruits, each linked to one of the four worlds: those with hard shells such as nuts (Assiyah/action), those with hard pits such as olives (Yetzirah/formation), and those which are completely edible such as grapes (Beriah/creation). The fourth world, Atsilut (Divine/Being), is not linked to a type of fruit but is represented in the Tu b’Shvat seder.