Tu B’Shvat, which literally means the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Sh’vat, is known as the New Year for Trees. In biblical times this date was the starting point for agricultural tithes and for calculating the age of trees; its modern focus is more to do with the environment and our relationship with nature.
Tu B’Shvat is associated with the planting of trees. In recent times, as the focus of the festival has become more about the relationships between human beings and the natural world, a Tu B’Shvat seder has emerged as a feature. Modelled on the Passover Seder, this is a series of readings interspersed with the consumption of certain fruits and drinking of wine or grape juice.
The seven species of fruit and grain grown in Israel feature in the Tu B’Shvat Seder. These are wheat, barley, vines, figs, pomegranates, olive oil and honey (from dates), though a variety of fruits are eaten.
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