Tu B'Shevat 2006
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What is Tu B'shevat you ask. Well, we'd link you to an informational page, but our internet is down and we'd have to restart the computer. Suffice it to say, this is the Jewish birthday of the trees, revived in modern times as an environmental awareness holiday. Only in Israel would the birthday of the trees (when the almond trees start blooming) occur in the middle of winter. There is no set way to celebrate and we've experimented over the years. Last year we invited a lot of friends over for a vegan meal and had a tree seder. This year we got back from a visit to Columbus a few hours before sundown, so Wendy decided to make it simple. It was a winning combination, though, and we look forward to making this a family tradition.

It is customary to eat 15 different types of fruit on the holiday (it occurs on the 15th of Shevat). The fruits should be from 3 groups: those with hard outer shells, those with hard pits, and those that are entirely edible. It is also customary to eat a fruit not yet eaten that year so one may recite the Shehechianu. (Wendy wasn't sure if this was the Jewish year or the secular year, so to play it safe, she bought quamquats which we've never eaten before and will probably never eat again.) We ate a spread of fruits, exotic cheeses, wine, and challah dipped in honey. We ate sitting on the floor middle-eastern style. For those of you from CUMC, you may recognize this as the standard snack from Market Place--it is where Wendy got the idea.

Isaac didn't get to try any fruit this year.

After eating, Craig read us The Lorax, Dr. Seuss's seminal environmental protection story. It is also, incidentally, a frequently banned book in schools whose parents are involved in the timber industry. Us dang tree huggers...