This year, in our homeschooling journey, I decided to add in learning about Jewish holidays and festivals. I found a great website called chabad.org and it explains a lot to me and it even has information for the kids so they can understand at their level.
The first holiday of the year is Tu B’Shevat. I have been read about this holiday on chabad.org. I read a great article tonight on the connection between food and Tu B’Shevat. It’s called Celebrating Pleasure and it was a great read. What really spoke to me was the comparison made about how a baby nursing stimulates more milk, which is what the baby wants, but it also gives the mother more satisfaction and how that was the same as us drawing closer to God makes us want more of Him and it gives Him more satisfaction. I suppose as a past-nursing-mother, I can understand the comparison.
The whole article was very moving and insightful.
I also went to the page for kids and read to them “What is Tu B’Shevat?” today. There is coloring pages, audios to listen to and other articles to read there. We listened to one audio story today and will listen to more tomorrow. I also have planned for them to do some kind of art project. Saturday is actually Tu B’Shevat, so we will celebrate that day with a little festival of our own.
I am still in the process of searching and researching all that has to do with this holiday. We will definitely be eating some fruit. I am hoping that I can find myself something to eat that won’t flare up my Oral Allergies Syndrome. Maybe God will bless my food to my body and not let it give me a reaction. I will pray for that. I’d really like to eat an apple and some grapes. The custom is to eat fruits that come from trees.
Tu B’Shevat is the beginning of the new year of the life cycle of fruit bearing trees. Well, all trees, really. But especially the fruit bearing ones are recognized. I would tend to stick to more Israeli type fruits, such as pomegranates, grapes and maybe olives. Traditionally, it is those eaten along with figs and dates. I don’t think that I can get a pomegranate in season now. The last ones we bought not too long ago were icky old. Yuck.
Chabad.org also tells me that this day is a day to reflect on the Bible verse, Deuteronomy 20:19, “…is the tree of the field a man…”. I read the whole verse, and it all kind of confused me. I think I’ll go back and read the verse before and after to see what the context is. I will also read some articles on chabad.org about that verse. There is a page called, Man and Tree, that have lots of articles that have to do with this verse. There’s so much to explore on that site!
Hopefully I will remember to take pictures so that I can blog about how neat our party is on Saturday! I have blogged before about trees, and my love for them, so I am looking forward to this holiday.