Baal Shem Tov, or Besht — the founder of Chasidism —
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven.
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?"
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!"
(from a letter
written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents)
Find ideas about leading the seder, the prayer for the trees from the original seder, texts to learn and teach at your seder, reflections on the JNF, and more.
These very rich resources are rooted in an ecological interpretation of Kabbalah. If you think about the Tu Bishvat seder, as we move through the four worlds, from one kind of "fruit" to the next, we reach greater and greater symbiosis. At the first level, when we eat nuts with a shell, we are destroying the seed that needs to be planted in order to feed ourselves. At the second level, fruit with a pit,
we are eating the fruit and discarding the seed, so we cannot pass the seed through our bodies. At the third level, wholly edible fruit, meaning fruit with seeds small enough to swallow, we are in complete symbiosis, and we can pass the seed through our digestive tract to fertilize and nourish it. Enjoy your holy Tu Bishvat meal!
Click to read "Being Here Now: This Creation is the Divine Image" (Tikkun Winter 2017)
2019 Tu Bishvat coincides with a total lunar eclipse visible throughout North America. Here is an amazing haggadah that's brief and in big typeface and all about the moon. You can use it while standing under the moon watching the eclipse.
From the Lunar eclipse haggadah:
As we receive the light of the sun reflected in the face of the moon, may we receive wisdom to guide our future. May we reflect hope, so that we give strength to each other. We are a part of the Earth’s shadow, and a part of the Earth’s atmosphere, which bends the red light of the sun to illuminate the moon. When we cast our own shadow, may we still shine a gentle light to illuminate the world around us...
Planting a tree for the future sounds like second nature, a wise investment for both Israel and the planet. But whether you think about doing this at Tu Bish'vat or during the Omer when it's really planting time, it's a little more complicated than donating to JNF...
Once a year there is Jewish custom is to say a special blessing on flowering fruit trees. It happens in spring, especially during the Omer, but it's also a good teaching for Tu Bish'vat. You'll also find some other good tree texts here