Hey folks! Reporting to you under the stars of Nahal Barack in the Arava desert, soaking up the energy from the full moon; our stomachs satisfied by our most recent gourmet delight, grilled sandwiches and hot roasted granola. We’ve been trying to be creative with all the dried fruit that we’ve accumulated from every Tu’Bishvat event we found ourselves at. How are the prunes treating you? I think we deserve a medal for managing to celebrate the birthday of the trees in four different ways:
1. While hitch hiking down from the wedding in Jerusalem back to where we left the trail, we got a ride with a teenager who said she would have to make a stop at an agriculture fair. Annually, all workers of the farming industry get together to share farming advances and to network. When we sat to chat with Gal, a businessman working for the Amiad Irrigation Company, to ask for advice of how to darken the color of our tomatoes, he gave us the insider scoop that the event is really just an excuse to give hard-working farmers a day to schmooze, eat, and have a free beer. So we sat with Gal over free beer and freshly brewed cups of joe, and discussed the meaning of life. We went around to all the booths collecting give-away fruits and learning about interesting farming advancements.
2. From the fair, we headed over to Sapir, a close-by town, to the Chabad house for a traditional Tu’Bishvat Seder. We were hosted by the Rabbi, who frequently opens his door for hikers of the Israel Trail. We joined members of Sapir and other nearby towns around two tables covered by plastic bowls each filled with a different fruit.
We said the blessing over each fruit and listened to Rabbi Moshe tell parables about the connection of man to nature. Everyone was ecstatic when Nava pulled out the fruit that we had had brought from the Jerusalem Market (Machne Yehudah) earlier that day. They couldn’t believe that we managed to find pomegranate and grapes fresh in January! TRIVIA QUESTION: The Gemara tells us that one tree changes gender after seventy years. Which tree? Winner will receive anything of their choice packaged!
3. The rabbi’s wife, Channi, requested that we accompany her to the local army base where she was leading a woman’s study for the female soldiers. It was a creative lesson, we really let ourselves go. You wouldn’t believe what you can do with some dried fruit!
4. Okay, I know. We are supposed to be hiking. We got back to the trail today and had a nice long hike. We stopped around noon to have a Tu’Bishvat Seder of our own.
“Because man is a tree of the field.”(Deuteronomy 20:19)
Being in Israel this year for Tu’Bishvat showed us many different ways to enjoy the fruits of the land and to learn about the connection between man and nature. So go hug a tree, eat a new fruit, water your garden with your iPhone, and embrace all there is around you because “man is a tree of the field.” Deuteronomy 20:19
Make up your own fruit pick up lines. Here’s ours:
Hey, I see you RAISIN your eyes at me. There’s something so GRAPE about you that’s making me go BANANAS. Can I take down your FIGures, or do I need to meet your PAPAYA first?
Please, don’t keep me WHEATing for an answer.
Comment APPLE tu?
Send in your own, and take the one you love out on a DATE.
Nava & Yoella