A Tu Bishvat Seder
The modern seder draws on elements of its mystical predecessor.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu al netilat yadayim.
Blessed are You, Source of all life, Who commands us to ritually wash our hands.
Reader: And God said: Let the earth put forth grass, herb-yielding seed, and fruit-tree-bearing fruit after its own kind, wherein is the seed thereof, on the earth. (Genesis 1:11)
Reader: In the 16th century in northern Israel, in the spiritual town of Tzfat (Safed), the Jewish mystics created the Tu Bishvat seder. They recognized the many and varied dimensions of God's creation and used the fruits of Israel to symbolize their existence.
The First Cup of Wine
This cup of white wine or grape juice symbolizes winter and the mystical dimension of atzilut, or emanation, at which God's energy infused the creation process with initial life.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam borei peri ha-gafen.
Blessed are you, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
Reader: For Adonai your God is bringing you into a good land. A land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths springing forth in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land wherein you shall eat without scarceness, you shall not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you may dig brass. And you shall eat and be satisfied, and bless God for the good land, which is being given unto you (Deuteronomy 8:7-10).
The First Fruit
Fruit that is hard on the outside and soft on the inside, such as walnuts, coconuts, or almonds. The hard shell symbolizes the protection that the earth gives us and reminds us to nourish the strength and healing power of our own bodies.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-etz.
Blessed are You, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the tree.
The Second Cup of Wine
This cup of wine or grape juice is mostly white, with a little red mixed in, to symbolize the passing of the seasons and the mystical concept of formation and birth, often associated with water.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-gafen.
Blessed are You, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
Reader: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall you be in the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your land, and the fruit of your cattle, and the young of your flock. Blessed shall you be in your basket and your kneading trough. Blessed shall you be when you come in and blessed shall you be when you go out (Deuteronomy 28:36).
The Second Fruit
This fruit is soft with a pit in the center--olives or dates [or peaches, apricots, etc.]--and symbolizes the life-sustaining power that emanates from the earth. It reminds us of the spiritual and emotional strength that is within each of us.
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