27th of Tamuz, 5774
Parashat Masei


Tu B’Shvat Hagaddah (Hagaddah Shel Tu B’Shvat)

fruit

Leader

For a thousand years, the Jewish people lived in Israel, but for two thousand years Israel has lived in the people. Throughout our exile and wanderings, Israel has been the center of our lives.

Reader

When we pray, we face towards Jerusalem. During the Passover seder we call out “Next year in Jerusalem”. We prayed for rain in Israel, and celebrated its harvest festivals. We mourned its destruction and wept over its devastation.

Reader

Our hope was to see the fulfilment of the biblical promise:

“and I will restore my people Israel and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine, they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit.” (Amos 9:14)

Reader

Today we come together to reaffirm our bond with the land of Israel and rejoice in its rebirth. Tu B’Shvat, Rosh Hashana La’Llanot marks the awakening of nature after its winter sleep. As we celebrate this seder, we renew our pledge to share in the rebuilding of Medinat Yisrael and make the desert bloom.

Reader

As we stand before HaShem on Rosh Hashanah to be judged, so, according to a legend, trees are judged on Tu B’Shvat.

THE FIFTEENTH OF SHEVAT
On the fifteenth of Shevat,
When the spring comes,
An angel descends, ledger in hand.
And enters each bud, each twig, each tree
And all our garden flowers.
From town to town, from village to village
He makes his winged way.
Searching the valleys, inspecting the hills,
Flying over the desert.
And returns to heaven.
And when the ledger will be full
Of trees and blossoms and shrubs,
When the desert is turned into a meadow
And all our land is a watered garden,
The Messiah will appear.

Shin Shalom
An Israeli Poet

Leader

Our first cup of wine is white, symbolizing winter. As we drink it we recall that nature has been dormant these many months, awaiting the warmth of the spring and the cycle of rebirth in the land.

wine blessing

Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melekh haolam, boray pri hagafen.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine.

All

Repeat the blessing. Drink the first glass of wine.

Reader

The first kind of fruit we eat in honor of Tu B’Shvat is of the type which has an outer inedible shell – the almond. In Israel the almond tree blooms at this time. Its white blossoms tinged with pink brighten the countryside after the bleak grayness of winter. Israeli children have nicknamed it “The King of Tu B’Shvat”.

fruit blessing

Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melekh haolam, boray pri haetz.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the Universe who creates the fruit of the tree.

Note: If this is the first time you have eaten an almond this season the following prayer is said.

she-hecheyanu blessing

Baruch ata Adonai, Elohenu melech ha-olam she-hecheyanu, ve-kiyemanu, ve-higiyanu la-zeman ha-zeh.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.

All

Repeat the blessing(s). Eat the almonds.

Reader

We have drunk of the fruit of the vine, and eaten the fruit of the almond tree. Trees nourish us, and we enjoy the fruit of the trees that others have planted for us. As others have provided for us, we too, have the responsibility to provide for others.

Reader

The Talmud has a story in it that an old man was seen planting a carob tree as a king rode by. “Old man,” the king called out, “How old are you?” The man replied, “Seventy years old your majesty.”. “How long before that tree you are planting will bear fruit?” “About seventy years or so,” the old man replied. “Do you expect to eat the fruit of the tree you are planting?” the king asked. “Of course not your majesty. But just as I found fruit trees when I was born, I plant them for the future.”

Reader

In Israel the Jewish National fund has been planting trees for about 100 years. It has made the desert bloom and turned the barren wastelands into forests. Jews from around the world have shared in the mitzvah by helping to plant trees in Israel.

Leader

Our second cup of wine is white, but tinged with red. It symbolizes the beginning of springtime and the earth’s reawakening. In Israel, pink and white flowers bloom on the hills and mountains at this time of the year.

wine blessing

Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melekh haolam, boray pri hagafen.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine.

All

Repeat the blessing. Drink the second glass of wine.

Reader

The second type of fruit we eat in honor of Tu B’Shvat is on that has an inner pit which can not be eaten – the date. When the Torah spoke of “a land flowing with milk and honey,” it referred to the honey from the date palm, tamar. The tamar is one of the trees which abound with blessing, for every part of it can be used. For this reason the rabbis compared the people of Israel to this tree.

Israel is like the date palm, of which none is wasted; its dates are for eating, its lulavim are for blessing; its fronds are for thatching; its fibers are for ropes; its webbing for sieves; its thick trunks for building – so it is with Israel, which contains no waste. — Bereshit Rabbah 41

fruit blessing

Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melekh haolam, boray pri haetz.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the Universe who creates the fruit of the tree.

Note: If this is the first time you have eaten an date this season the following prayer is said.

she-hecheyanu blessing

Baruch ata Adonai, Elohenu melech ha-olam she-hecheyanu, ve-kiyemanu, ve-higiyanu la-zeman ha-zeh.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.

All

Repeat the blessing(s). Eat the dates.

Leader

Our third cup of wine, mostly red, but with some white, represents the full arrival of spring. The red tulip and red buttercup spring up over the countryside of Israel. As spring arrives, the soil is warmed and softened.

wine blessing

Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melekh haolam, boray pri hagafen.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine.

All

Repeat the blessing(s). Drink the third cup of wine.

Reader

The third type of fruit we eat in honor of Tu B’Shvat has both an inner pit and a hard outer skin that can not be eaten – the avocado.

fruit blessing

Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melekh haolam, boray pri haetz.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the Universe who creates the fruit of the tree.

Note: If this is the first time you have eaten an avocado this season the following prayer is said.

she-hecheyanu blessing

Baruch ata Adonai, Elohenu melech ha-olam she-hecheyanu, ve-kiyemanu, ve-higiyanu la-zeman ha-zeh.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.

All

Repeat the blessing(s). Eat the avocado.

Reader

In the book of Bereshit we read:
And G-d said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit trees yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is on the earth,” and it was so. And the earth blossomed with grass, herbs and trees, and G-d saw that it was good. — Bereshit 1:9-13

HaShem has created the trees for us and it is our obligation to uphold and preserve them for the future.

Leader

The Torah characterizes the land of Israel as being blessed with seven kinds of food. A land of wheat and barley, of grape vines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olives and honey. We have had wine and fruit. Let us taste of wheat. (The wheat crackers are given out.)

wheat blessing

Barukh Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melekh haolam, boray minay m’zonot.

Praised are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe who creates various kinds of foods.

All

Repeat the blessing. Eat the wheat crackers.

Leader

Our fourth cup of wine is completely red, symbolizing the full glow of summer. the crops are growing and the flowers are in full bloom. In the coming months HaShem will bless the land and it will yield many varieties of fruit and produce to sustain and delight us.

wine blessing

Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melekh haolam, boray pri hagafen.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine.

All

Repeat the blessing. Drink the wine.

Reader

The fourth fruit we eat in honor of Tu B’Shvat is one that can be entirely eaten – the raisin. The raisin is a dried grape and is the fruit of the vine.

wine blessing

Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melekh haolam, boray pri hagafen.

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine.

All

Repeat the blessing. Eat the raisins.

Reader

Everyone will sit under their vine and fig tree and none shall make them afraid; for the Lord of Hosts has spoken. — Micah 4:4

All

May it be your will Adonai that through our eating of the fruits which have been blessed, that the trees of Israel will renew themselves blossoming and growing.

We pray that this seder celebration of Tu B’Shvat will inspire us with a deeper sensitivity to the natural gifts you have given us to tend.

We give thanks to you Adonai who has given us the trees and their fruit.

Leshanah Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim!

Next Year In Jerusalem!