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THEMES of Featured Laws & Customs

Introductory Prayer from Pri Etz Hadar
The Kabbalistic celebration of Tu b'Shevat that originated in Zefat, is recorded in Pri Etz Hadar -- a 50 page pamphlet presenting fruits to eat and passages to read, arranged by anonymous student of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the "Holy Ari" of Tsfat, takes the form of a "seder" (like on Passover). Certain fruits are eaten in a particular order, accompanied by specific readings.
Which Fruit Comes First?
People who are accustomed to follow the Kabbalistic Seder of fruits and wine on Tu B’Shevat organize their (thirty) fruits according to certain criteria. Status on the Scale of Yichus comes from association with Holy Scriptures, but the Code of Jewish Law brings a second opinion which gives primacy to the person’s personal preference. The Pri Eitz Hadar suggests a practice which honors both values.
Tu B'Shevat: Basics
The Code of Jewish Law states that on Tu B’Shevat fasting and eulogies are forbidden, and all penitential prayers are omitted. The Magen Avraham adds: “It is the custom to eat many different kinds of fruit.” The Kabbalistic celebration of Tu B’Shevat originated in Safed, and involves eating particular fruits in a specific order and reading mystical passages appropriate to each of them.
A Tribute to Wine
Each life is a priceless vessel into which is poured a soul that is grape juice fermenting into wine. No two lives are alike. Each possesses an absolutely unique capacity to know G-d and celebrate the love.