Our friends came over for an impromptu Tu Bishvat Seder last night. They brought the fruit (thanks Barbara and Brian!) And I brought my offering in words (isn't that how we Jews do it?)
I always forget which fruits you eat when, and how much white or red wine to drink, so I dashed off a poem about the Four Worlds of Creation that you can use for next year's seder. Chag same'ach!
Poems for a Tu Bishvat Seder
by Jeff Klepper © 2012
In Asiya where we begin
Our fruit must have protective skin
That you'll remove and toss away
The rest is yours to eat, ok?
Included here are nuts as well
Like almonds, with an outer shell
Or nuts like coco and brazil
Crack them open, eat your fill
The wine (juice) we drink is only white, cool and crisp, like winter's light.
For Yetzirah we now provide
Fruits that have a pit inside
So take a bite, the taste is sweet
The pit, of course, you'd never eat
On plums and peaches, olives too
That nature formed for me and you
On mangos, apricots and dates
We say "borei p'ri ha'eitz"
Add a drop of red and sing, as winter slowly turns to spring.
Beriyah is level three
So pick an apple from the tree
Creation gives us all we need
These fruits have tiny little seeds...
Grapes and berries, when they're tasted
Are complete, so nothing's wasted
Also kiwis, figs and pears,
Pass around the plate and share!
The wine (juice) we drink is white and red, a taste of summer in your head.
The highest level, Atzilut
Is spiritual, we need no fruit
And after drinking wine (juice) that's red
We smell a fragrant spice instead.
So take a walk, enjoy the breeze
Say, "Happy Birthday" to the trees.
Thanking God for all we've got
Is (in a nutshell) Tu Bishvat!
The tree picture at the top is uncredited - if it's yours let me know so I can thank you.
The sunset photo was taken by me from the balcony of the Samuels' home in Ein Hod in 2008.
(You can see the single hardy tree that made it through a forest fire.)