Tu B'Shvat

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Tu B'Shvat has no additions to prayer, and no rituals that everyone unequivocally practices. Nonetheless, it is one of the happiest days of the Jewish calendar. Tu B'shvat is the new year for all vegitation and plants, and marks the beginning of Spring in Israel. It is customary to eat foods from the 7 species, the 7 fruits indigenous to the land of Israel.

This includes food made from: Wheat, Barley, Grapes, figs, dates (or date) honey, pomegranate, olives (and you can water it down with milk-from the land of milk & honey).


Tu B'Shvat Seders

A popular Tu B'shvat activity is the Tu B'Shvat seder. Have an action packed meal eating each of the 7 species. Some species can be hard to track down, so you'll need to be creative. For example, if they do not sell any figs in your local supermarket (which is most likely the case :)), you can try sharing some "fig newtons" instead! If you cannot find pomegranate's, then you can try POM brand pomegranate juice instead! Instead of wheat, you can get bread! The possibilities are endless.

With each food, give a brief explanation of its significance as one of the 7 species, and make the appropriate blessing. Chances are most of your Jewish peers at college have never been to a Tu B'Shvat seder in their lives, and possibly never eaten that specific food. What better way to reach out to people, than through new (healthy) foods, and appreciating the land of Israel.

Another idea is to go on a hike or nature walk. There are many ways to conduct such an adventure, but there is no better way to forge new relationships than to go on a walk & appreciate nature-on the new-year for nature. While this may be diffucult on some college campuses, like in Manhattan, NY, a mini-hike could be a nice experience near a campus surrounded by nature, much of which you may not appreciate during most of your time on campus.

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