Tu B’Shvat Reflections

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Tu B’Shvat Reflections

You can trace the recent history of Tu B’Shvat seders like branches on a tree. The first one I went to, in London in 1986, was hosted by Bonna Haberman and Shmuel Browns, mentors to me and many others in the renewal of Jewish ritual. I made my own seder the following Tu B’Shvat, and I’ve made or attended one every year since. Seders, like trees, grow branches, and the branches sprout fruit in all directions.

The roots of Tu B’Shvat stretch back to the beginnings of organized Jewish life. We learn from the Mishnah (Tractate Rosh Hashanah) that “the New Year of the Trees” divided the tithing of one year’s crop from the next—the end and start of the tax year, so to speak. After the expulsion from the Land of Israel, Tu B’Shvat went underground, like a seed, ungerminated, lying beneath the soil of Jewish thought and life.

Continue reading “Deeper Roots, Wider Branches”, by Nigel Savage, originally published in the Jerusalem Report

NEW! Hazon Tu B’Shvat Haggadah

[Image]The new 2013 Hazon Tu B’Shvat Hagaddah is designed to help you think about your responsibility towards the natural world on four different levels: physical space, community, world and spirituality. Each section of the Haggadah offers texts, questions and activities to spark conversation around your seder table related to one of these four levels of responsibility.

Download the Hazon Tu B’Shvat Hagaddah here

Find recipes, songs, sustainability tips, and more at hazon.org/tubshvat

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Tree B’Earth Day at Isabella Freedman

Friday, January 25 – Sunday, January 27, 2013 at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in the Connecticut Berkshires[Image]

Give thanks for the birthday of the trees and the Jewish Earth Day with the many branches of the Jewish environmental movement. Join activists, rabbis, leaders, and educators to contemplate and celebrate our interconnectedness with trees and the natural world.

Tree-mendous highlights include:

  • Romemu-style (Renewal) services with Shir Yaakov
  • Orthodox services with Rabbi Greg Wall

All-inclusive rates start at just $228 per person and include farm-to-table Shabbat meals, an elaborate seder with four cups of wine, lodging, diverse learning and celebration, multiple prayer options, yoga classes, guided hikes on our beautiful trails, and more.

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Opportunities From Our Friends

Tu B’Shvat in the Redwoods with Wilderness Torah

[Image]In the tradition of the Tsfat mystics, Wilderness Torah will gather in the forest to create an experiential Tu B’Shvat seder that connects us to the trees and the elements. Everyone will delight in the fruit of the trees,p’ri ha-etz, and celebrate the season together through the five senses, song, meditation, and Tu B’Shvat teachings.

Sunday, January 27th, 2013, 10 am to 3 pm, Redwood Regional Park, Skyline Gate, Oakland, CA

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AVODAH Applications Open

[Image]Lead, learn and live. Join AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. Applications are officially open for AVODAH, a prestigious one-year program combining work for justice, leadership development, Jewish learning, and community building. Learn about AVODAHand how to spend the next year fighting poverty in one of our four cities around the country! Watch this video and start your application at www.avodah.net/apply. Application deadline is February 11th, 2013.

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