Chag Ha-Ilanot Sameach — Happy Festival of the Trees
It was hard to create the kind of vibrant Jewish home I wanted for my children when I was so busy bringing Judaism to others.
I couldn’t find the time. I lacked the energy.
So I see it as a blessing that my new “career” affords me the time (actual, mental, emotional) to infuse our home with the Yiddishe ta’am, best translated as ‘Jewish flavour,’ that surrounded me as a child.
Today is Tu BiShvat – the birthday of the trees. A beautiful explanation, written by one of my Rabbis Without Borders colleagues AND a fellow IC alumna, can be found here. Taking inspiration from some of my rebbes (Ima on the Bima and Homeshuling, I’m looking at you!), we enjoyed a Tu BiShvat feast last night. An aromatic meal with herbs and seasonings from the land of Israel, rounded off with a fruity fondue.
Will this one moment be THE ONE that they recall when they are parents themselves? Who knows. For now, PC and I enjoyed watching them discover how yummy fondue can be. And which fruits they liked the most when dipped in chocolate. And catching one of them (any guesses??) eating forkfulls of just chocolate. A sweet way to begin the holiday.
Conversations about the importance of trees and what we can do to protect God’s gifts. Acknowledging the many, many ways our lives are enhanced by nature.
And before school began, a song and hug for a dear friend.
- Tu Bishvat 2012: Environmental Jewish Holiday Celebrates Mystical Fruit (huffingtonpost.com)
- Happy Tu Bishvat, the new year for trees (mnn.com)
- Rabbi Yonah Bookstein: Tu Bishvat Seder: A Kabbalistic Celebration Of Trees (huffingtonpost.com)