Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Joys of Tu B'Shvat

Today is Tu B'Shvat - the Jewish New Year for trees. I don't know why I enjoy this holiday so much. Maybe it's the fact that there is no t a lot of work to prepare for it or that there are no religious restrictions or obligations.

There is a little bit of a pagan flavor to it - the anthropomorphosized trees celebrating their New Year, but that doesn't bother me. I enjoy going to the store and shopping for weird exotic fruits to put on the table. Last year it was prickly cactus pears, and today it is Asian pears.

There is a whole Kabbalistic tradition of the Tu B'Shvat seder, but that is a little too much for my non-mystical household. Instead, we just enjoy the day in a very simple way.

5 Comments:

Blogger Stevin said...

I enjoy the holiday, too. We actually go to the local gardening store, and let my kids pick out a few trees, and we plant them in our back yard. We'll have to find a new way to celebrate soon, though, because my back yard is running out of room.

February 13, 2006 6:43 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Hey Stevin, welcome to my blog!

You must live somewhere relatively warm. I don't think I could plant a tree in Chicago yet.

Of course, I have absolutely no knowledge of agriculture or horticulture or anything else that has to do with planting, so I could be totally wrong on this.

February 13, 2006 7:14 AM  
Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

That sounds great... kind of difficult to get into the mindset with all that snow outside, but still. For some reason, I've never thought of this holiday as an especially important one, but I guess it's fun, and more fun if you get to plant something.

February 13, 2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger Tobie said...

Tu B'Shvat has always annoyed me...too much of a Jewish Hallmark Holiday- all symbols and no meaning.

February 13, 2006 4:42 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Hmm, Tobie.

I guess maybe that's why I like it. It's simple, no meaning, just kind of noting a particular part of Nature's cycle. A way of adding a little something to your day without getting all profound. But you know, to each his own. Maybe if I didn't have a bunch of little kids around, I wouldn't pay much attention to it.

Of course, like I said before, there are those who imbue it with all sorts of mystical meanings, but I don't really buy into that.

February 13, 2006 5:12 PM  

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