With his usual attention to detail and respect for devotional religious practices, Yitzhak Buxbaum explores the meanings of the Jewish holiday traditionally known as the "New Year of the Trees." The Tu BeShvat seder was created by kabbalists in the sixteenth century. It involves drinking four cups of wine and eating a variety of fruits. While savoring these delights, Jewish believers send out a blessing of renewed divine energy to all creatures and creations.
The rabbis regarded Tu BeShvat is a time of renewal for the trees and for people. On this holiday they taught about the value of trees, the spiritual energy of fruit, and the divine flow of God's goodness in creation. Although Buxbaum does not mention it, this Jewish holiday is more relevant than ever today given its ecological values and its emphasis on nature, food, and eating.