Celebrating the new year of the trees at Congregation Sinai
The children of Congregation Sinai Religious School celebrated the New Year of the Trees, Tu B' Shevat, with a special seder on Sunday Jan. 24 during their class studies. Tu B' Shevat which always falls on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat celebrates the measuring of the aging of the trees for tithing. Fruit from a new tree may not be eaten for the first 3 years. The fourth year will be offered to G-d and it may be eaten completely after that.
One custom is to eat a new fruit on this day or to eat from the Seven species... wheat, barley, vines(grapes), figs, pomegranates, olives and dates or honey. To commemorate the eating of these fruits, our children have a Tu B' Shevat Seder. We drink 4 glasses of grape juice (or wine at an adult seder). The first is white, the second has a little red mixed into it, the third is three-quarters red and one quarter white and the fourth is all red. This reminds us of the changing of the seasons. We say the prayers over the fruits and nuts and eat walnuts, grapes, mangos, cherries, pomegranates, wheat crackers, bananas and oranges. We pray for a wonderful year.