Tu B’Sh What?
It’s funny how many people — Jewish ones included — don’t know about Tu B’Shvat. The most beautiful holiday you’ve never heard of, it’s well worth learning about and celebrating.
These days, people often refer to Tu B’Shvat as “the Jewish Arbor Day.” Indeed, according to the Mishnah (Jewish oral law), it is the new year of the trees. The holiday, which this year falls on February 11, is celebrated with a Seder: participants read from a Haggadah and drink four glasses of wine. While the menus and the topics of conversation vary widely, they focus in some way on the celebration of agriculture, renewal and, more recently, ecology and conservation.
The meal features the seven species — or fruits — of Israel: pomegranates, dates, barley, figs, olives, grapes and wheat. These are incorporated into the dishes being served and are often used to decorate the table.
Here are some recipe suggestions and related links for additional information and ideas about the most beautiful holiday you’ve never heard of.
Liza Schoenfein is food editor at the Forward. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @LifeDeathDinner