Baal Shem Tov, or Besht — the founder of Chasidism —
The Ultimate Text Crunching Sheet for Tu Bish'vat
You'll find over thirty texts and prayers to use for your Tu Bish'vat seder, grouped according to each cup and world of the seder. You can get everything you need here, or use it as a Kabbalistic supplement to whatever haggadah you already use. It's a great resource for studying texts from ancient, medieval and pre-modern times about trees and fruit, with an emphasis on what's ecologically signifcant. Guaranteed you'll find a wow text. You'll also find texts you may work up to after some years.
More versions are being worked on: one for the evolutionary Tree of Life and the five kingdoms (animal, plant, fungus, bacteria, archaea), and one focused on levels of symbiosis. I will link to them here when they are ready.
The first page includes an easy midrashic text for each of the four worlds (from most manifest to most hidden), followed by half a dozen or more Kabbalah and Chasidic texts for each world. You'll also find this version of the P'ri Eits Hadar prayer:
O God, who makes, forms, creates, and emanates the spiritual worlds! You made trees and plants grow from the ground in their shape and pattern above, so that this Creation may be “joined together as one,” to become a holy mishkan-sanctuary. And this full moon is the beginning of Your work to renew and ripen the fruit trees, for so will be filled the days of ripening the fruit of the supernal tree, “the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden.” May it be Your will that our eating and blessing of these fruits now, and our meditating over their roots above, will arouse their spiritual sap and make the flow of love and blessing and pure gift flow upon the trees, to make them grow and bloom, for good and for blessing, for good life and for peace. May the whole of Creation return now to its original strength, and may the rainbow appear rejoicing and glorified in its colors. And may all the sparks of Divinity, scattered by our hands, or by the hands of our ancestors, or by the injury the first human committed against the fruit of the Tree, return to be included in the majestic might of the Tree of Life!
I want to emphasize one part of this prayer:
May the whole of Creation return now to its original strength... And may all the sparks of Divinity, scattered by our hands, or by the hands of our ancestors, or by the injury the first human committed against the fruit of the Tree, return to be included in the majestic might of the Tree of Life!
It's great to have fun and juicy Tu Bish'vat seders, but it's a New Year, and like Rosh Hashanah in the fall, it's a time to ask for forgiveness and to pray for healing. Nothing could be more important in this stage of our development as a species than to become profoundly conscious of the need to fix what we have torn asunder. How we pray is one of the powerful ways to get there. Please, for all our relatives in all kingdoms and worlds, include a prayer like this in your seder.
beautiful prayer, thank you
Posted by: amy karlinsky at January 15, 2011 2:30 PM
Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006