This year, Tu B’Shevat falls this coming Shevat. If you thought Rosh Hashana was the New Year, well – we love new beginnings, so Rosh Hashana (Tishrei 1) is the New Year in the sense of recognizing God and praying for a healthy year filled with all good, whereas as Nissan 1 is the New Year in the sense that it commemorates the beginning of the Jewish nation, when we left Egypt and became a nation, and Tu B’Shevat (15th of Shevat) is the New Year for the Trees of the land of Israel, the beginning of the agricultural cycle, for the agriculture in Israel. We put the greatest emphasis on the seven species of Israel: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. As well as persimmons, apricots, and nuts – the most popular song of Tu B’Shevat being “HaShkediah Porachat…” (the almond tree is just beginning to bloom….) and indeed, this year my youngest granddaughter, Shaked, is blooming and growing and turning one year old! And of course, what would Tu B’Shevat be without “bokser”, or Carob!
I just returned from Israel where it is noticeably obvious that preparations for Tu b’Shevat, the New Year for Trees, are in full swing. Dried Fruits are in abundance at every kiosk and in every supermarket, and in all the nuts and candy stores. The schools are all planting in honor Tu B’Shevat, and doing projects, including my granddaughter’s Gan, which has each child making a doll made of dried fruit. This was a fabulous idea which I would recommend you try with your children. Use different fruits for the various parts of the body – such as a dried slice of pineapple for the face…..
Additionally, I saw the most enticing stand of dried fruit combinations used for tea. Simply put a teaspoon into a cup of boiling water, infusing the water with the natural flavors of the fruits – strwawberry/litchi, mixed berries, warm cider, and many more. Of course, I was entranced, and so I bought (only) 5 different varieties for my grandchildren in Israel to enjoy at their “Shabbat tea party” on Friday night/Tu B’Shevat.
And at Hungarian Kosher we are all ready to help you with your celebrations – which should be particularly fun since it is on Shabbat and so just enhances your Shabbat experience. Hungarian Kosher Foods has an entire department of nuts, dried fruits, all within our delicious fresh produce department. We have a variety of dried fruit platters, or just purchase packages of our dried fruits and nuts and make your own platters. And don’t forget to purchase some of our fruit teas, directly from Israel. Also our own homemade compote, made from the delicious fruits of our produce department, is on special sale to enhance your Shabbat meal. And please remember to purchase your bokser, so you can have a taste of the carob fruit, which is native to Israel.
And as a special gift, enjoy a 10% discount on our traditional, Gourmand World Cookbook Award winning cookbook, Food Family and Tradition, with your purchase of dried fruits.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and delightful Tu B’Shevat!