Fruits for Tu Bishvat . Here is my list of fruits varieties and produce that is considered kosher for Tu Bishvat, there are several fresh fruits and nuts associated with Tu Bishvat. Some say that you should begin your celebration of Tu Bishvat by eating dried fruit, and when you finish that, you should eat some fresh fruit, and then finish the day off by eating more dried fruit along with their health and biblical benefits.
Fruits For Tu Bishvat
This symbolic act has significant spiritual implications for the kabbalists (mystics). They explained that every fruit, which can be thought of as the parent generation, contains the seed of the next generation, or the possibility for new life. If we consume the fruit that releases the seed in a holy manner, with appropriate blessing and thankfulness, we are aiding God in renewing the natural world and the cycle of life continues.
In addition to the dried figs, dates, raisins, and carob of earlier generations, we have numerous options for Tu Bishvat feasting today thanks to Israel’s agricultural wealth and exports. Oranges, avocados, bananas, pomegranates, olives, and almonds are excellent components for recipes or as delicious staples for Tu Bishvat meals.
The seder [a Passover-inspired ceremony] practiced by the Kabbalists did not mark the end of creativity in relation to Tu Bishvat.
Sephardic [Mediterranean Jewish] communities are where colorful customs surrounding the consumption, distribution, collection, and even attempts to affect fate using fruit first emerged.
The Kurdistani Jews prayed for an abundant fruit season after placing delectable fruits like raisins in rings around trees in an effort to influence nature. Some barren ladies would bury raisins and candies beside trees or cuddle up to trees at night, believing in the power of sympathetic magic, and hoping for fertility and a profusion of offspring.
At a mock wedding ceremony, young girls who were legally allowed to get married were “wed” to trees (a tradition with pagan origins). She knew her turn would come soon if buds were soon discovered on the tree to which one girl had been “married.” (In Salonica, it was thought that on Tu Bishvat, the trees themselves would embrace, and anyone witnessing this would have their desire come true.)
Iranian Jews scaled the roofs of their neighbors and lowered empty baskets down the chimneys into the homes. Fruit-filled baskets would be returned in the mail. Even more complex rituals than the seder were created by some. Giving fruit bags as necklaces to young children was a common practice back then. Although the occasion was referred to as “the day of eating the seven species” in Bucharia and Kurdistan, the Jews there actually ate 30 different kinds of fruit (the Indian Jews counted 50!).
A hundred various types of fruit, nuts, and vegetables might be consumed during sumptuous feasts thrown by rich villagers in some nations, such as Morocco. Instead, they would welcome the entire town to their homes and fill everyone’s hats with fruit. This dinner at home was frequently preceded in Morocco by a banquet held after Maariv, the evening service, in the synagogue. The kids would visit relatives on the 15th during the day to gather fruit gifts for their sacks.
In contrast, the Ashkenazi Jews [European Jews] were much less colorful and celebrated the day largely by eating fruits that reminded them of Israel (perhaps from an ornamental dish, such as the 19th-century Austrian hand-painted ceramic Tu Bishvat plate now in the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem). The affluent would have dates, raisins, figs, and perhaps an expensive orange, which was still a luxury for them. Others might use bokser, which is Yiddish for “carob” and is more widely available and less expensive. (The fruit loses a lot of its attractiveness after being off the tree for a bit, which is how the Diaspora Jews eat it. When fresh, it is chewy and has a faintly date-like flavor.)
The kids would give up their bags of fruit that they had brought from home after their Hebrew studies at the cheder (religious school), and the contents would be combined and divided again so that everyone may enjoy the same treats. Bags of the same kinds of fruits were presented to students at American Hebrew schools; this tradition is still observed today.
A Tu B’Shevat Seder for Kids
The occasion of Tu B’Shevat, also known as the birthday of the trees, offers us a chance to deepen our ties to nature. On the fifteenth (“tu”) day of the month of Shevat, the holiday of Tu B’Shevat is observed in Israel together with the arrival of the first indications of spring. The trees are just starting to bloom for the new year, so this is the ideal time.
Interesting fact: A tree’s fruit is ready to be picked when it reaches the age of three, according to Jewish law. Ancient farmers used Tu B’Shevat to identify the stages of a tree’s development.
On Tu B’Shevat, many households host a seder, or religious dinner. In honor of the crucial part that trees play in our lives, symbolic foods are consumed in a particular order, just like during a Passover seder. Israelis typically consume fruits like figs, dates, and carobs. It is also usual to say the Shehecheyanu and consume fruits you have never tried before (a blessing of gratitude when experiencing something new).
On Tu B’Shevat it’s tradition to snack on nuts, dried fruit, and other grains.
This Tu B’Shevat seder is ideal for families celebrating their first Tu B’Shevat together or for families with smaller children. Together, you’ll be able to recite blessings, ask questions, and sample and smell new foods. To navigate around the four sections of the seder, each of which is titled after a season, use the buttons below. Use this rendition of the PJ Library Tu B’Shevat seder for children ages 8 and up if you’d prefer a somewhat more in-depth version.
There are four parts to the Tu B’Shevat seder, each representing a distinct season and feature of the trees and our own lives. Winter, when many species in nature go dormant, is where we begin. The seeds that will sprout new trees in the spring “sleep” deep in the ground, just as animals hibernate throughout the winter. We will begin our seder with tasting dishes with a hard exterior, like nuts.
Pour a full glass of white grape juice. Say the blessing above and then drink at least half of the glass.
This portion of the seder starts with a really fun sensory activity. You’ll add a few drops of regular grape juice to your cup of white juice to look at the way a little bit of color can cause a lot of transformation. This helps us think about the fact that every stream begins with a small trickle and every flower or tree starts with just a single bud.
TIP: If a guest at your seder is allergic to nuts, you can also use fruits like lychees, pineapples, pomegranates, or star fruit.
Have you ever “judged a book by its cover?” What did you learn?
Starting off this part of the seder is a particularly enjoyable sensory activity. To see how a small amount of color may result in a significant alteration, you will add a few drops of ordinary grape juice to your cup of white juice. This encourages us to consider how each stream starts as a tiny trickle and how each flower and tree begins as a single bud.
Cherries are for eating, not posing.
Now add a few drops of red grape juice to the white juice in your cup. Then you’ll drink at least half of the cup.
Although we don’t eat the pits of fruits, they are the building blocks of new plants. For this section, enjoy some fruits with pits at the center like peaches, cherries, avocado, or olives. (Just make sure you don’t eat the pits).
Tu BiShvat Customs
On the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar we celebrate Rosh HaShanah L’Ilanot,the “New Year for the Trees.” Some customs for this day:
• It is customary to increase in the amount of fruits one eats on the 15th of Shevat, in order to praise G‑d who created all these species of fruits.
The blessing recited on fruit is:
Baruch atah A-donoi, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam borei pri ha-aitz.
Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.
The blessing of Shehecheyanu:
Transliteration: Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech Ha-olam She-heche-ya-nu Ve-ki-yi-ma-nu Ve-higi-a-nu Liz-man Ha-zeh.
Translation: Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.
• A common custom on this day is to consume carob. Another tradition that many adhere to is eating etrog, whether it be in the form of preserves, sugared slices, etc.
• Rabbi Isaac Luria (“Arizal”), a well-known Kabbalist, had a tradition of eating 15 different kinds of fruits on the 15th of Shevat.
Kabbalistic Tu B’shvat Seder
The New Year for Trees is celebrated on Tu B’Shvat. Tu B’Shvat, like all other days in the Jewish calendar, presents an opportunity for self-improvement and life-insight. The tree has served as a metaphor for God’s relationship to the spiritual and material worlds for thousands of years, according to Kabbalists. The Way of God, written by Moshe Chaim Luzzatto in the 18th century, asserts that the higher spiritual realms are like roots that eventually make their presence felt in the lower spiritual realms through branches and leaves.
Tu Bishvat marks a new period for taking tithes, a portion of which is given to the poor. Therefore:
When a person is privileged to eat in the presence of God, he must show his appreciation by giving charity to the poor and feeding them, just as God in His bounty feeds him. ( Zohar – Parshat Trumah)
At this point it is appropriate to pass around a ‘pushka’ to collect tzedakah. After the seder, the money should be donated to a worthy cause.
You will need lots of fruit, including:
- The seven species by which the Land of Israel is praised:
- Grapes(or raisins)
- wheat and barley (in the form of bread, cake or cereal)
- Various nuts with the shells (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, coconut), and fruits with peels (oranges, pomegranates, avocado)
- Other fruits with edible seeds (e.g. blueberries)
- Other fruits with inedible pits (e.g. peaches, plums)
- Wine or grape juice, both white and red
- charity box
Important note: Since insects are not kosher, check your fruits to make sure they are bug-free. Bugs are especially common in figs, dates, and dried apricots. To check, split the fruit in half and look carefully before eating.
(2) THE SEDER BEGINS
The leader asks:
Why do we celebrate the New Year for fruit trees on Tu B’Shvat?
Since the Holy Temple was destroyed, the Jewish people could no longer bring the First Fruits (Bikkurim) to Jerusalem. On Tu B’Shvat we offer instead the fruit of our lips, to praise God for all the fruit trees in the world.
A participant says:
A fresh time for paying tithes, a portion of which is given to the needy, begins on Tu Bishvat. Therefore:
A person who has the honor of eating in God’s presence ought to express his gratitude by offering alms to the needy and feeding them, just as God in His bounty nourishes him. (Parshat Trumah – Zohar)
The time has come to distribute a “pushka” to collect tzedakah. The money should be given to a deserving cause after the seder.
A participant says:
Tu B’Shvat is the New Year for the TREE, according to the Mishnah in Tractate Rosh Hashana (singular). This allusion to a single tree refers to the Garden of Eden’s The Tree, also known as the Tree of Knowledge.
God then commanded the land to produce grass, seeds from herbs, and fruit trees that bear their corresponding kinds of fruit. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which produced flowers and fruit, is referred to as the “fruit tree.” The tzaddik, or “bearing fruit,” is the foundation of the world. “Of its kind” refers to all people who possess the holiness-promoting spirit, which is the tree’s blossom. The faithful enter into and adhere to this form of covenant because it is the covenant of holiness and peace. The Tzaddik creates, the tree conceives, and the tree bears fruit according to its kind. (Bereishit 33a, Zohar)
One should intend that he is eating at the celestial table before God, in the Garden of Eden before the Divine Presence. ( Raishit Chochma – Shar HaKedusha)
Take a few moments and think deeply about being in the company of God… sitting at His table… experiencing the sublime spiritual pleasure of a relationship with the Creator Himself.
A) In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were only allowed to consume fruits and vegetables. God only approved meat after the Flood of Noah. What aspects of eating meat are regarded as spiritually superior? And in what respects is being a vegetarian regarded as spiritually higher?
B) The Tree of Life, which stands for the Torah and eternal life, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil were the two trees in the Garden’s center (representing death and distortion). The Tree of Life represents objective knowledge, whereas the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil represents subjective experience. Why, given that God had specifically forbidden it, would Adam and Eve have opted to consume the latter?
A participant says:
Man’s very name – Adam – is derived from the word Earth, adama. While man is at once the pinnacle of creation, the master and caretaker of the world, he is also dependent on the earth for his most basic needs. The Torah, in outlining the negative commandment of destroying fruit trees, refers to man himself as a tree of the field (Deut. 20:19). Our sages learn from this verse a prohibition against any needless destruction. In other words, fruit trees serve as the archetype for man’s relationship and responsibility to his environment.
Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden as a result of a mistake they made in eating fruit. Fruit consumption is a metaphor for how we engage with the outside world. Proper application results in a world that is perfect and spiritual bliss. Misuse results in physical devastation and spiritual deterioration. Our chance to atone for past wrongdoing and reclaim our proper place in the Garden is the Tu B’Shvat seder.
Adam and Eve erred by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. To correct this mistake, we eat our fruit today with pure intentions, as if from the Tree of Life.
A participant says:
Rabbi Chaim Vital wrote:
By eating the fruits [at the Tu B’Shvat Seder], one must intend to atone for Adam’s sin of eating the fruit from the tree, according to my teacher, the holy Arizal.
Inappropriately engaging in the physical world for its own sake degrades us spiritually and lessens our delight. The answer is to use the material world as a means to a noble aim, such as appreciating the magnificence of the God who created everything.
(3) THE SEDER CONTINUES
A participant says:
A person will be condemned for all the excellent fruit that they saw but did not eat in the hereafter, according to Rabbi Abbun’s statement in the Talmud.
Rabbi Elazar put this instruction into practice. Despite his extreme poverty, he managed to save up little pennies that he stored in a secret pouch to buy new fruits as they came into season. At least once a year, he made an effort to bless every type of fruit.
Why is someone held responsible for not trying a new fruit when given the chance?
Because a particular angel is in charge of each life type, including fruit. When we bless a fruit, we give the angel the authority to produce more of that fruit. By refusing to consume a fruit, one denies the world the spiritual effect that blessing would have brought. The Chemdat Yamim
According to the Torah, one who consumes food without offering a blessing is seen as a robber. Why? For everything that God created is intrinsically sacred. Hence, by eating fruit, one is denying the world a portion of holiness. A blessing restores holiness to the world. But eating without receiving a blessing degrades holiness without making up for the loss, and is therefore considered stealing. (Prague Maharal)
A participant says:
The creator of Chassidut, the Baal Shem Tov, once paid a visit to Rabbi Yaakov Koppel’s house. The Baal Shem Tov requested Rabbi Yaakov to explain why he spent an hour dancing in front of his Shabbos meal. Rabbi Yaakov retorted, “I absorb the spiritual essence of the food before I taste the physical food. I get so happy doing this that I start singing and dancing!
The leader says:
Everything in the physical world is a metaphor for a deeper spiritual concept.
What knowing is to the soul, eating is to the body. As we consume, we internalize the beneficial components of the food, and as a result, we develop and expand. Similar to this, we need to process and internalize new information before we can fully incorporate it into our being. Only then are we able to advance spiritually and intellectually.
(4) GRAIN PRODUCTS
The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived: wine sipping and other delectables!
According to the verse, “A land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olives and honey,” the first two of the seven species linked to the greatness of the Land of Israel are wheat and barley.
We start by eating cake or bread. It is appropriate to include the seder into one of the Shabbat meals when Tu B’Shvat falls on the Sabbath, using challah as the bread.
The leader says:
Let us pause to consider our good fortune before we offer the blessing. We can eat this cuisine because of the numerous blessings God has bestowed upon us. God might have simply designed humans to be fed through pill-taking, bland porridge, or photosynthesis like plants. Instead, He gave us an almost limitless array of delicious and healthful foods to enjoy. He bestowed upon us taste buds and a variety of wonderful organs that allow us to consume and process food.
A benediction is an expression of gratitude to our Creator. Who is the wealthy person, ask the wise? who is content with what they have. The more we value our gifts, the more sincerely we express our gratitude, and the more sublimely we enjoy them.
If eating cake or cereal, recite the following blessing:
Baruch Atah Ado-nai, Elohai-nu Melech HaOlam, boray minay mezonos.
Blessed are you God, King of the Universe, Who creates species of nourishment.
If eating bread, begin with the washing of the hands, twice on both hands and say:
By raising our hands, we are reminding ourselves that even though the food we are going to eat was produced by a human, it ultimately comes from God. He would provide him with the finest wheat, as the verse states.
We then say the blessing over the bread silently beginning at the washing time:
A participant says:
The passage states: “You shall bring a sacrifice to God when you eat the bread of the Land.” This alludes to the Omer’s waving (tenufah). Give a mouth is how the word tenufah can be translated. The honor we give to God is represented by the tongue. The Omer was therefore waved to signify that we give God this mouth, as the Jewish people’s praise of God is His greatest act of honor and glory.
Why was barley used to make the Omer rather than wheat? since barley matures first. Wheat (chita) is the more ideal food since it represents the eradication of sin (chet). Some think that Adam’s transgression was committed with a grain of wheat. 189a in Zohar and Balak
Savor each bite of the cake or bread. Appreciate that God loves us and created everything for our good.
On Tu B’Shvat, we eat the fruit by which God Himself praises the Land of Israel. As the verse says: The trees have borne their fruit, fig tree and vine have yielded their strength. Children of Zion be happy, rejoice in the Lord, your God.
If you have a preference, eat the fruits in the order you most enjoy. Otherwise the order of eating should be: olives, dates, grapes, figs, pomegranates.
Say the following blessing and then eat one of the fruits:
Baruch Ata Adod-nai Elohai-nu Melech HaOlam boray pri ha-aitz.
Blessed are you God, King of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree.
If there is a seasonal fruit at the table which you have not yet tasted this season, say the following additional blessing before eating the fruit:
Baruch Ata Ado-noi, Elohai-nu Melech HaOlam, sheh-he-che-yanu vi-kee-yimanu vi-hee-gee-yanu laz-man ha-zeh.
Blessed are You God, King of the Universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
As the relevant sentence from the paragraph below is read, take each fruit one at a time. savor the variety of tastes and textures. Consider the truth that everything in the world was created by the Creator of time and space for our enjoyment.
Participants take turns saying the following paragraphs:
God called your name ‘a green olive tree, nice and beautiful fruit.’
Your children shall be like olive plants around your table.
Rabbi Yehoshuah Ben Levi said: Why is Israel compared to an olive tree? Because just as the leaves of an olive tree do not fall off either in summer or winter, so too the Jewish people shall not be cast off – neither in this world nor in the World to Come. (Talmud – Menachot 53b)
The Sages taught: Just as olive oil brings light into the world, so do the people of Israel bring light into the world. (Midrash – Shir HaShirim Raba 1:2)
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree (Psalms 92:13). The righteous are fruitful and sweet, just like a date palm.
Your stature is like a palm tree (Song of Songs 7:8). Just as the palm tree doesn’t bend or sway, so too the Jewish people.
No part of the palm tree is wasted. The dates are for eating; the Lulav branches are for waving in praise on Sukkot; the dried thatch is for roofing; the fibers are for ropes; the leaves are for sieves; and the trunk is for house beams. So too, every one of the Jewish people is needed. Some are knowledgeable in Bible, others in Mishnah, others in Aggada (homiletic understanding of the Torah). Still others perform many mitzvot, and others give much charity. (Midrash – Bamidbar Raba 3:1)
Just as a vine has large and small clusters and the large ones hang lower, so too the Jewish people: Whoever labors in Torah and is greater in Torah, seems lower than his fellow [due to his humility]. (Midrash – Vayikra Raba 36:2)
Rabbi Yochanan said: What is the meaning of ‘He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit’? (Proverbs 27:18) Why is the Torah compared to a fruit tree? Figs on a tree do not ripen all at once, but a little each day. Therefore, the longer one searches in the tree, the more figs he finds. So too with Torah: The more one studies, the more knowledge and wisdom one finds. (Talmud – Eruvin 54a)
Let us get up early to the vineyards. Let us see if the vine has flowered, if the grape blossoms have opened, if the pomegranates have budded. There I will give you my love.
If the pomegranates have budded. These are the little children who study Torah and sit in rows in their class like the seeds of a pomegranate. (Midrash – Shir HaShirim Rabba 6:11)
Rami Bar Yechezkel once came to Bnei Brak and saw goats grazing under a fig tree. Honey was dripping from the figs and milk from the goats – and they became intermingled. He said: Behold, a land flowing with milk and honey! (Talmud – Ketubot 111b)
Ask participants to share a story or experience he/she had while in the Land of Israel.
At the Tu B’Shvat seder, it is traditional to drink four cups of wine, similar to the Passover seder.
- First Cup – pure white
- Second Cup – pale pink (white with a drop of red wine)
- Third Cup – darker pink (with more red added)
- Fourth Cup – almost totally red (with only a drop of white)
A participant says:
White wine represents nature in potential. Red wine represents nature in full bloom. On this day, we begin to leave the winter behind and move into a period of renewal and life.
It is stated in the Zohar: Wine has two colors – white and red. White is from the right side [of kindness]; red from the left side [of strength and judgment].
As we progress from white to red, we move from potential to actuality. We are able to appreciate God’s judgment as well as His kindness. We see God’s design and goodness in the world with increasing clarity.
A participant says:
Wine rejoices the heart of man. This refers to the wine of Torah. Yayin (Hebrew for wine) equals 70, the numerical value of Sod, meaning secret. [Wine represents the hidden aspects of the Torah.] ( Zohar – Parshat Pinchas).
A participant says:
The Talmudic section dealing with agriculture is called trust in God. When a farmer plants a seed, trust in God gives him the strength to survive the winter. On Tu B’Shvat he begins to see that trust rewarded.
Similarly, when we plant a seed for personal growth, it requires trust and patience to survive the ‘cold,’ before we see the fruits of our labor.
We will now drink four cups of wine (or grape juice) in conjunction with four different categories of fruit. Each of these pairs correspond to each of the four spiritual realms (from lowest to highest):
- action – asiah
- formation – yetzirah
- creation – briah
- emanation of pure Godliness – atzilut
Each level becomes more spiritual and connected to the Creator. As we eat, we elevate the fruits – and ourselves – through the various levels, rising higher and higher.
A participant says:
The Almighty said: Although wine can be a source of trouble in this world, in the future I shall make it only a source of joy, as it says: ‘And it shall come to pass on that day, that the mountains will drip with sweet wine’ (Yoel 3:18). (Midrash – Vayikra Raba 12:5)
Pour the first cup of wine (all white):
All say the following blessing, and then drink from the wine (if you haven’t already done so during Kiddush):
Baruch Ata Adon-ai Elohai-nu Melech HaOlam boray pri ha-gafen. Blessed are you God, King of the universe who creates the fruit of the vine.
Slow down and really enjoy the taste of the wine. The most prestigious universities offer courses in wine tasting. There’s a lot to appreciate in life. Be a connoisseur!
The leader says:
We now eat fruits with inedible shells or peels. For example: nuts, pomegranate, oranges, avocado. The edible part of the fruit corresponds to perfection and purity, while the inedible is connected to deficiency and impurity. This is parallel to the realm of action (asiah), the lowest of the spiritual worlds – a world which is enveloped by materialism, just as the fruit is enveloped in its peel/shell.
A participant says:
Rabbi Tarfon compared the Jewish people to a pile of walnuts. If one walnut is removed, each and every nut in the pile is shaken and disturbed. So too, when a single Jew is in distress, every other Jew is shaken. (Midrash – Shir HaShirim Raba 6:11)
A participant says:
As it is the virtue of a nut to be closed in from all sides, so too the Heavenly Chariot which goes out of the Garden of Eden is hidden on all sides. And just as the four sections of a walnut are united at one side and separated on the other, so are all parts of the Heavenly Chariot united in perfect union – and yet each part fulfills a specific purpose. ( Zohar – Shmot 15b)
Imagine one of your negative character traits (anger, impatience, etc.) being thrown away as you throw the peels and shells aside. Imagine the negative trait as the shell in your imagination. You can then feel the trait leaving you as you throw it away. The real you isn’t like that. The fruit that represents who you really are is sweet and filling. See the trait being thrown out.
What to Eat on Tu B’Shevat
With this dinner packed with nutritious fruits and vegetables, you can honor the Jewish holiday and the bounty of the Planet.
The Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat, also known as Tu BiShvat, falls on the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat (for 2019, it begins at sundown on January 21 and ends at nightfall on January 22). It is occasionally referred to as “Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot,” which means “New Year of the Trees” in English.
One of four annual “new years” mentioned in the Mishnah, the celebration ushers in spring in Israel. The natural world is celebrated on Tu B’Shevat by devouring its bounty and planting trees. The fruits of the Earth and everything that flourishes are acknowledged with gratitude.
Tu B’Shevat Customs: Traditionally, a bounty of fruits and vegetables grace the Tu B’Shevat table. In some parts of the world, Jews partake in a Tu B’Shevat seder meal complete with prayers and food blessings. Others celebrate by taking a picnic under the trees or simply making a meal featuring the fruits of the season. Jewish schools often hold outdoor parades; students wear all white and make baskets overflowing with fruit. In Israel, people are encouraged to plant trees and give back to the Earth, which is similar to our U.S. tradition of Arbor Day.
Celebrating Tu B’Shevat with a Vegetarian Meal: In many homes, Tu B’Shevat is celebrated by eating a meatless meal. It impacts the environment in a positive way, plus it gives Jewish families more opportunities to integrate seasonal fruits, vegetables, and grains into the menu. Many households take this day as an opportunity to try a new-to-them piece of produce.
What to Eat on Tu B’Shevat: Fruits, nuts, cereals, and vegetables are typical Tu B’Shevat fare. Almond-rich meals are frequently served around the holidays in California because this is the time of year when the almond trees blossom there. At least 15 different kinds of fruits and vegetables will be consumed by those who participate in a Tu B’Shevat seder. The seven species named in the Torah—wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates—are also typically included.