Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's Here!

[Both sweetness and light]
The first buds of spring, pink and tender, have appeared on a Japanese cherry tree in my yard. The joy and beauty of rebirth and renewal are coming, are here already. In early spring it is easy to understand and appreciate the nature-cult elements of a Christianity which worships a god Who dies and lives anew in the spring. Early spring is happiness and elation and hope for the future.

Today is also the Jewish New Year of the Trees, Tu Bishvat. It is a day for planting trees, for giving money for the planting of trees in Israel. It is observed by eating tree fruits and nuts characteristic of the land of Israel, with appropriate brachot. Historically it was the day from which the fruit offerings, brought to the ancient temple in Jerusalem from all over eretz Yisrael, were dated.

The Kabbalists in Tsfat in the 1600's, led by Rabbi Isaac Luria, instituted a short seder for it, called Hemdat he-Yammim . I wonder what Haggadah they used? And whether it is still extant?


  1. At Congregation Beth Israel in Chico we have an annual Tu Bishvat sedar. Lots of friuts and nuts, and different colored wines for different courses. Not as big as a passover sedar, but nice.

  2. Beautiful tree...good photo. Happy Spring!