Tomorrow is Tu B’Shevat , ט״ו בשבט, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. This special Jewish day commemorates the New Year of the Trees.
We are taught that the trees are judged on this date for the fruit that will be produced in the next growing year. In Israel, this is the beginning of fruit trees emerging from winter dormancy to begin a new fruit-bearing season.
To commemorate this special day, we enjoy fruit, especially fruits synonymous with the Land of Israel. In the Torah, certain fruits are praised as the bounty of Israel and we make certain to enjoy these fruits on this day. These fruits of mention are olives, dates, grapes, figs and pomegranates.
Tu B’Shevat reminds us of the dormant potential in the trees and in each one of us. Just as the trees and their seeds lie dormant during the harsh and cold winter months, often we have times of dormancy. Our hope is that we recognize the potential in ourselves, our children and those around us, even in the harshest and most challenging of times. Precisely at this time, while it is still cold and unforgiving outside, the trees celebrate their New Year.
May each one of us celebrate this festival of potential, growth and blossoming in our gardens, our families and our hearts.
This fruit salad incorporates some new fruits and some of the fabulous fruits of Israel. We thank G-d when enjoying the vibrant colors, textures and flavors of fruit by reciting this blessing:
Baruch atah A-donai 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.
When we eat new fruits that we have not eaten for an entire season, we also bless G-d with this special blessing:
Baruch atah A-donai, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam shehecheyanu v’kiyimanu v’higi’anu laz’man hazeh
Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season
This fruit salad incorporates so many of the fruits that I love to purchase at the Machene Yehuda Shuk (Jerusalem open-air market) while we are in Israel. I hope that it connects you to The Land, to G-d and to the potential that is Tu Beshvat, too.
Happy Tu Beshvat!
kiwi (see tips)
Asian pears (see tips)
Was, dice, scoop and cut fruit into small pieces. Gently toss and optionally garnish with Simple Kiwi Flower Garnish.
To keep fruits like Asian pears from oxidizing, place cut pieces in a solution of 4 parts water to 1 part of lemon juice r pineapple juice.
Peel kiwi with a vegetable peeler. You will preserve more of the fruit.
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