Tu B'Shevat

The latest announcements from my shul reminded me that I need to hurry up and start getting ready for Tu B'Shevat. I wanted to make this Tu B’Shevat special as it will be the first we celebrate as a family. Technically its not the Froggy’s first, but the last year went by in a newborn lack-of-sleep fuzz, and so we didn’t do much for some holidays.

Tu B'Shevat is the 15th day of the Jewish month, Shevat which this year corresponds to

February 13th on the Gregorian calendar. It is the "New Year" for trees, and heralds the coming of spring for me. For many years, when I was not affiliated with a synagogue,the January influx of garden catalogues said its time for Tu B'Shevat and garden planning. Every year on Tu B'Shevat I try to plant something. Growing up in South Florida, it was easy. In Boston, it meant starting seeds indoors. This year in Virginia, with the mild winter we are having, I am debating trying to put something in the ground.

To mark how special this year is I am creating our own Tu B’Shevat seder. There are several good samples available. Most follow a pattern similar to the Pesach seder. Some focus on the numerology of the date using 15 different types of fruits/nuts whiles other focus on the seven species. We are modeling ours after this one. I chose it for its simplicity. I love the beauty and imagery of this one and may well use it or parts of it when Froggy is older and willing to sit longer. We also like this one because of the actions it includes.

Here is my prep list:

  • Obtain 15 different types of fruits and nuts - five from each of the following three categories. I chose the specific 5 I did with a mind towards what my family would eat, what was available locally and the seven species.
    • 1) fruits or nuts with an inedible outer shell and an edible inner core: pineapple, coconut, banana, kiwi and pomegranate.
    • 2) fruits with edible outer flesh and pithy, inedible cores: olive, date, peach, apricot and persimmon.
    • 3) fruits which are edible throughout. Here no protective shells, neither internal nor external are needed. The symbolic fruits should be eaten entirely and include: strawberry, grape, fig, raspberry and blueberry.
  • Obtain red and white wine
  • Plant a tree in Israel in Froggy’s honor
  • Obtain seed starting materials to plant with Froggy on before the seder
  • Obtain and learn classic Tu b'Shevat song, "Atzei zeitimomdim"

I also want to share two of my favorite child-friendly TuB’Shevat links Babaja News and Torah Tots.


  1. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative post with the Carnival of Family Life.

    An Island Life

  2. I always find learning about the holidays of other faiths and cultures so interesting. I really like the meaning behind this one. It must be nice to pass on the traditions of your faith to your family.

    Here via the carnival of family life.


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