Tu B'Shvatֲ is the New Year for the Trees. As in all other points in the Jewish calendar,ֲ Tu B'Shvatֲ offers a unique opportunity for insight into living and personal growth. Throughout the centuries,ֲ Kabbalistsֲ have used the tree as a metaphor to understand God's relationship to the spiritual and physical worlds. Moshe Chaim Lutsatto, in his 18th century classic The Way of God, teaches that the higher spiritual realms are roots that ultimately manifest their influence through branches and leaves in the lower realms.
In the 16th century, theֲ Kabbalistsֲ of Tzfat compiled aTu B'Shvatֲ Seder, somewhat similar to theֲ Sederֲ for Passover. It involves enjoying the fruits of the tree, particularly those native to the Land of Israel, and discusses philosophical and Kabbalistic concepts associated with the day. Among other things, theSederֲ is a great way to appreciate the bounty that we so often take for granted, and to develop a good and generous eye for the world around us.
Theֲ Sederֲ presented here is based primarily on the Kabbalistic work,ֲ Hֻemdat Yamim, later published separately under the titleֲ Pri Eitz Hadar.
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