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Happy Birthday Trees!

January 29, 2010


Tonight begins a Jewish holiday, and because many of you have asked to learn more about Judaism and my culture, I thought I would share a little bit of tonight’s holiday with you all!

The holiday is called Tu B’Shevat, which is the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat.  This holiday is also known as the New Year for Trees, and marks the beginning of SPRING in Israel.  This is when trees in Israel will start blooming and begin a new fruit bearing cycle. 

There are few customs or observances related to this holiday. One custom is to eat a new fruit on this day, or to eat from the Seven Species described in the Bible as being abundant in the land of Israel.  The Seven Species are: wheat, barley, grapes (vines), figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (honey). 

Not only are we celebrating fruits of the trees, we’re also celebrating fruits of the vine.  Which means we drink!  I’ve learned that almost every Jewish holiday is an excuse to drink.

I went to Brandeis for undergrad, where more than half of the student population was Jewis, many very religious.  It wasn’t uncommon on a holiday to see tons of students stumbling around drunk, because that’s what we were SUPPOSED to do!  Even on Friday nights (Shabbat, I have to write a post explaining that!), a  lot of students were just crazy drunk.  I loved ‘Deis!

So basically, we eat nuts and grains (which I do normally) and should enjoy wine (twist my arm, really).  Not too shabby huh?  Tonight Solomon and I will be joining the Hillel at Allegheny for services and dinner.  I have no idea what kind of food there’s going to be, but I plan to enjoy my fair share of fruits, nuts and grains all day tomorrow.  Any holiday that encourages me to eat this:

Is OK in my book!  Time to eat, drink and be merry!

What’s on tap for you this weekend?  Is it cold and snowy where you are too?

Solomon and I have a lot of errands and shopping (food!) to take care of this weekend, and we plan to take it pretty easy.  I’m excited to relax!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2010 9:48 am

    I am very upset that the package of Tu B’Shevat fruits that my mom bought does not have any figs. It’s listed on the ingredients panel, and there are usually one or two that I hijack, because really… carob? Dates? No thanks. But there isn’t a SINGLE FIG in there. I am annoyed.

    ❤ ❤

  2. January 29, 2010 11:09 am

    Thanks for sharing! I love hearing more about different cultures and religions.
    I live in Vegas so the weather isn’t snowy but has been a bit rainy this week. I’m enjoying it though cause we don’t get rain that often.
    Have a great Friday!

  3. January 29, 2010 11:14 am

    I really enjoy it when you post about Jewish traditions… it’s like a FAQ for all the non-Jewish kids who were always too shy to ask questions. It’s so interesting, keep it up. : )

  4. January 29, 2010 1:02 pm

    Thanks for the reminder on the holiday. Sometimes there are just to many tp keep track of. My mom usually reminds me. It is tough because there are not really any other Jews but me here. I plan to go home for Passover. In fact I felt so dumb the other day sicne I asked off for the first night of Passover (I work Monday and Thursday nights) and the person who was not Jewish, was like sure, but when is that. I forgot most people wouldn’t just know that.

  5. January 29, 2010 1:03 pm

    I love learning about Jewish traditions. A lot of my friends were Jewish growing up and I loved eating all of their delicious foods!

  6. January 29, 2010 1:23 pm

    I like the sound of those 7 foods: very earth and very delicious
    That’s cool you went to Brandeis! I’m from Marlborough MA and know a lot of students there now

  7. January 29, 2010 1:30 pm

    I’m jewish and I don’t even know most of this stuff. thanks for the informative post!! love it! 🙂

  8. Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth) permalink
    January 29, 2010 1:32 pm

    it is COLD bu tnot snowy!! and yay for tu b’shevat!


  9. January 29, 2010 9:10 pm

    Very interesting! I had no idea about this holiday!! Sounds like a fun one!! 🙂

    Stay warm and have a great weekend!! 🙂

  10. January 30, 2010 12:15 am

    Mmm I could totally celebrate that holiday. I LOVE dried fruit. I got that big ol’ ab sucker from Costco too. Try stuffing the dried figs with almond butter….YUM!

  11. January 30, 2010 3:45 pm

    great post. i love learning more about people! looking forward to more.

  12. January 30, 2010 5:47 pm

    I don’t know any of this stuff and I’m Jewish AND I worked for a Jewish Federation for a year and a half. Oops.

    Very interesting post.


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