It’s almost Tu B’Shvat, and what kind of an environmental organization would we be if we didn’t make a big deal out of it, right? So here you have it: an entire Hazon Seal Newsletter dedicated (almost) entirely to this magnificent holiday, the birthday of the trees. Like the Jewish people and Judaism itself, this holiday has evolved throughout the ages and I invite you to explore it further and find what your 2020 iteration looks like.
Many blessings for delicious prosperity that endures!
Now Online! Hazon’s New Tu B’Shvat Haggadah
Hazon’s new Tu B’Shvat haggadah offers thoughts and ideas to help you celebrate the new year for trees (which begins Sunday evening, February 9) in your community.
The texts, questions, and activities in the haggadah can serve as a guide for viewing Tu B’Shvat through fresh eyes and recontextualizing the tradition. This haggadah uniquely focuses on the role that trees play in sustaining a healthy planetary ecosystem and mitigating climate change.
Hosting a Tu B’Shvat Seder?
We’d love to help you spread the word. Please send us the info and link to your Facebook event at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help publicize your event on social media.
More for Tu B’Shvat
Hazon’s Tu B’Shvat Holiday Resources include additional awesome resources, tips, and suggestions. Explore away and tell us what you ended up using! Here is a sample of our favorites:
- Tu B’Shvat Lesson Plans for all ages designed by our JOFEE Fellows.
- Tu B’Shvat Family Seder is an abbreviated seder, complete with games and family-friendly language, perfect for the all-ages table.
- Book a Tu B’Shvat program with Grow Torah. GrowTorah curates educational garden experiences through which participants explore relevant Jewish values and Torah lessons, and learn the fundamentals of gardening, farming and planting.
- Nigel Savage’s piece, Beyond ‘The Four Worlds’: Creating Meaning in Your Tu B’Shvat Seder.
- The many Tu B’Shvat articles on Canfei Nesharim’s website.
- The book Trees, Earth, and Torah: A Tu B’Shvat Anthology which draws upon biblical, rabbinical, medieval, and modern sources – from art, music, recipes, and crafts, as well as fiction, poetry, and essays – about the significance and historical development of Tu B’Shvat.
- The book Listen to the Trees: Jews and the Earth which discusses the Jewish view of the environment via directives and claims from the Torah like“care for the trees” and “all living things are connected.”
- This video of a Tu B’Shvat seder celebrates the whole natural world as it also builds community, creates sacred space, and inspires people to live and act with the earth in mind.
- This TED Talk on Biomimicry in action discusses how scientists, architects, designers, and engineers can explore new ways in which nature’s successes can inspire humanity.
- Go out and plant! Tu B’Shvat is a great time to start a garden, with sufficient time to grow things for use during Pesach! So, take the time during this holiday to plant something together so you can soon enjoy homegrown fruits and veggies. If you don’t have outdoor space for a garden, there are plenty of ways to grow vegetables and other plants indoors.
- Start a GrowTorah garden program at your (children’s) school today. GrowTorah develops educational Torah garden programs for Jewish schools and communal organizations.
Hazon Seal Spotlight: A Jewish vegetarian festival in Florida!
Feeling inspired and want to learn more from them? Reach out to Stephanie at email@example.com.
Plant-Based Weekly D’var Torah
Follow SHAMAYIM’s weekly D’var Torahs about the connection between Torah and animal welfare, and the compatibility of plant-based living with Judaism and Jewish sources! We hope these weekly writings inspire you to live more fully in alignment with the Jewish value of za’ar ba’alei hayim, not causing harm to animals.
* This resource is also available (and easily searchable!) in our Hazon Seal Resource Bank.
Try Vegan in Honor of Tu B’Shvat
It’s been said that Tu B’Shvat is the most vegan of the Jewish holidays, because of the many connections to plant-based themes and concepts. Feeling inspired by this environmentally-focused celebration? Be it for the sake of compassion and animal welfare and/or minimizing your environmental footprint (pollution, carbon, and more) — our friends at SHAMAYIM are here to help you start your plant-based journey.