Join us next Shabbat for the New Year of the Trees!

6846527953_6638c0d567_nDear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

The New Year of the Trees is almost here!

Late next week, when the moon is full, we’ll reach the festival of Tu BiShvat, also known as the New Year of the Trees. Tradition holds that this is when the sap begins to rise in the trees to feed the fruit of the year to come.

We who live in sugaring country know about the rising of the sap and the sweetness which our trees can produce! But the sap rising at Tu BiShvat is more than merely literal — it’s also a spiritual reality. This is the time when we invite blessing and sustenance to flow into our parched souls, enlivening us so that we can spiritually grow in the new year.

8414116189_c018dd9ca2_mHere at CBI we’ll celebrate Tu BiShvat with a special seder at lunchtime on Saturday, January 18.

After our sweet Shabbat services (which run from 9:30 until 11), we’ll sit down for a Tu BiShvat seder in the social hall. We’ll bless and eat nuts and fruits which hold mystical significance, experiencing a journey through the “Four Worlds” of action / emotion / thought / spirit. As we eat these tree fruits with mindful intention, we open channels of blessing for the trees of our earth.

As our seder concludes, we’ll segue into a vegetarian / dairy potluck lunch.

Please RSVP to the synagogue office (413-663-5830 or office at cbiweb dot org) to let us know that you are coming, so we will know how many tables and chairs to set up (and how much of each symbolic fruit to buy.)

All are welcome for both Shabbat services and the Tu BiShvat seder lunch — though if you can only make it to one of them, that’s okay too.

Enjoy the waxing moon, and join us next Shabbat for Tu BiShvat!

Blessings to all,

Rabbi Rachel

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