As a mom of three children who are 10, 13 and 17 years old, I'm always looking for ways to bring meaning to holidays and keep my kids engaged. For Tu B'Shevat, we ring in the new year for trees with a seder full of yummy foods that remind us of the significance of trees and fruit in G-d's creation.
We start by eating bread or cake. Wheat and barley are the first two of the seven species connected to the greatness of the Land of Israel, as it says: A land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olives and honey (Devarim 8:8). Then we move on to olives, dates, grapes, figs, pomegranates. Our seder includes four cups of wine (or grape juice), pale white to a deep red, signifying the cycle seasons throughout the year. The Tu B'Shevat seder connects us to the Land of Israel and to the natural beauty that surrounds us every day.
This year, we will be celebrating Tu B'Shevat on our magnificent campus adorned by flora representing these seven species of Israel. Amidst the barely-budding fig trees and the olive branches in our atrium, the middle school will be joining together on an annual shabbaton, a Shabbat retreat filled with song, camaraderie, and learning. Together on Tu B'Shevat, we will celebrate our connection to nature as we explore how we ourselves grow and blossom. The rest of the school will enjoy next week at mini-seders on Monday.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and a Happy Tu B'Shevat,