Trees, Earth And Torah

Overview

This anthology draws upon biblical, rabbinical, medieval, and modern sources--from art, music, recipes, and crafts, as well as fiction, poetry, and essays--about the significance and historical development of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish "New Year of the Trees," and includes mystical writings along with Zionist and Eco-Judaism pieces. The anthology also includes several examples of preparing a "Seder Tu B’Shevat."
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Overview

This anthology draws upon biblical, rabbinical, medieval, and modern sources--from art, music, recipes, and crafts, as well as fiction, poetry, and essays--about the significance and historical development of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish "New Year of the Trees," and includes mystical writings along with Zionist and Eco-Judaism pieces. The anthology also includes several examples of preparing a "Seder Tu B’Shevat."
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This exhaustive--and exhausting--collection of essays, biblical passages, poems, songs and recipes scrutinizes Tu B'Shvat, a minor Jewish festival that occurs on the 15th day (tu Equals number 15 in Hebrew) of Shvat, the fifth month of the Jewish year (it usually falls between mid-January and mid-February). Known as the New Year of the Tree, Jewish Arbor Day or Tree-Planting Day, Tu B'Shvat began as a tax day for calculating which fruit would be included in the tithe brought to the Temple. Following the destruction of the Second Temple, Jews in the Diaspora demonstrated their attachment to the Holy Land by eating fruits, preferably from Israel, on Tu B'Shvat. After Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, some Kabbalists developed a special ritual for the holiday that included drinking four cups of wine and eating fruits and nuts. More recently, Tu B'Shvat has become a day for planting trees in Israel and for celebrating ecological concerns. The minor festival's meaning and observance are thoroughly explored in this laborious, fulsome and repetitive presentation, constituting the definitive work on Tu B'Shvat. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780827607170
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication date: 5/15/2000
  • Series: Holiday Titles Series
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 1.14 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledging the Orchard Keepers
Introduction to the Tree
Pt. I The Living Tree: A Festival's Growth through History 1
Growing Tu B'Shvat: The Life-Juice of the Tree of History 3
Pt. II Roots: Biblical Judaism in the Land of Israel 23
Biblical Passages 25
Israel: The Orchard and Vineyard of God 50
Pt. III The Trunk: Rabbinic Judaism 67
Mishnah and Gemara on Tu B'Shvat 69
Midrash from The Book of Legends, Sefer Aggadah 69
"Shemonah Esrel for the New Year of the Trees": A Medieval Amidah for Tu B'Shvat 71
Is the Tree Human? 83
Thou Shalt Not Destroy 106
Pt. IV Branches: Kabbalah and Hasidism 113
The Trees of Eden in the Kabbalah 115
The House of the World 121
The World Trees in the Zohar 128
Peri Eitz Hadar: A Kabbalist Tu B'Shvat Seder 135
Blessing Trees Yosef Hayyim of Baghdad 153
The Souls of Trees Nachman of Bratzlav as retold 159
Conceiving the World R. Tzvi Elimelekh Shapira of Dinov 160
Pt. V Branches: Zionism and the Land of Israel 163
Variations on the Theme of the Future 165
Zionist Ideology and the Space of Eretz Yisrael: Why the Native Israeli is Called Tzabar 169
The Forest as a National Icon: Literature, Politics, and the Archeology of Memory 188
A Tree for a Tree: The Aggressive Nature of Planting 210
Poems by Zelda and Malka Heifetz Tussman 225
Pt. VI Branches: Eco-Judaism 229
"I and Thou: A Tree" 233
"Trees for Life" 234
"The Redwood Torah" Arthur Waskow 240
"Tu Bishvat in the Redwoods: A Meditation Suite for the Earth" (poem) 242
Nebuchadnezzar, Nahman's "The Cripple," and Groundhog Day: A Meditation on Tu B'Shvat 246
The New Year of the Trees 253
Wisdom and the Two Trees 253
The Human, the Tree, and the Image of God 263
From The Wisdom of the Jewish Sages 276
Re/Membering Nature 276
Tu B'Shvat as a Visual, Mystical Rosh HaShanah 281
The Rings of Growth 284
Through Tu B'Shvat to Yah B'Shvat 289
Pt. VII Fruit of the Lovely Tree: Tu B'Shvat Itself 343
Blessings for the Seder 345
Cooking Up a Tu B'Shvat Seder 345
A Circle of Friends: Tu B'Shvat for Small Children 360
Plants and Trees in Winter: Tu B'Shvat for Older Children 361
Caring for a Tree of Life 362
Getting to the Root of the Tree of Life - Outdoors 377
Food from the Sacred Tree 380
Delights of the Tu B'Shvat Table 383
Ever Since Eden: Trees, Tradition, and Tu B'Shvat 390
Tu B'Shvat Meditation 401
Judaism, Vegetarianism, and Tu B'Shvat 403
New Traditions for Tu B'Shvat 410
Sharing God's Fruitfulness 415
Etz Hiyyim Rabbah: 1.1 418
Songs for Tu B'Shvat 426
Pt. VIII Seeds: Sources for Learning and Doing 447
Resources 449
Credits 456
Notes 457
Contributors 483
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