These ceremonial ways have been handed down to us from Ḥaza”l, Our Wise Ones of Blessed Memory. This text is an extension of what we have learned from our teachers. They developed this sacred literature in efforts to attain a perspective on the universe.
This seder for Tu Bishvat is to help arouse, to encourage, and to continue to demonstrate your sense of connection with HaShem Yisbarakh Our Creator.
We thank Ḥaza”l and all of our teachers who have shared their wisdom. We thank HaShem Yisbarakh Our Creator Who guides us to hear one another’s voices in love across the generations.
Ḥaza”l suggest that at this season in particular, we honor the spirits of our friends and teachers, the trees. On Rosh HaShanah La’Ilan, the New Year of The Tree, we connect with the spirits of those trees. According to Rabbi Tzvi Elimelekh of Dinov (B’nei Yissakhar):
On this day the saraf, the sap containing the Holy Sparks in those trees, begins its upward flow. That saraf contains a spiritual dimension, a ‘fire’ or ‘burning energy’, the sacred sparks that the fruits of the Holy Land contain in abundance.
On this day, HaShem our Creator begins to place the first sacred sparks into the tree, from where the fruits of the coming year will emerge. Those sparks can ignite the responsive soul with a burning desire to rise even higher and closer to HaShem.
The outcome depends not on agricultural or botanical conditions, but on our z’chus, our spiritual merits. We are to pray fervently on this day, that our prayers may literally bear fruit.
We also connect with the Etz Ḥayyim – the ‘Tree of Life’ – our Creator Who is in the heavens and in the earth. Ḥaza”l encourage us that on this day, we partake of the fruit of many trees. P’ri Etz Hadar tells us,
It is a good custom for those who walk upright to eat an abundance of fruit on this day and to give expression to words of song and praise for them.
It is traditional to eat as many exotic fruits and nuts as possible.
Most desirable are the five fruits by which our Holy Torah praises Eretz Yisroel, the Land of Israel: olives, dates, grapes, figs, pomegranates…
We are grateful to Rabbi R. Karpov for sharing her Seder for Rosh Hashanah La’Ilan with a Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike license. For consistency and clarity, I have added some Hebrew and corrected the transliteration of Tu Bishvat. — Aharon Varady.