Sunday, January 02, 2011

A rather startling conversation for an Am Haaretz

See the comments.


Blogger Shira Salamone said...

See the next comment, please.

Fri Jan 21, 12:27:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Kindly see the next comment.

Fri Jan 21, 12:28:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Just one or two more.

Fri Jan 21, 12:28:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Please be patient.

Fri Jan 21, 12:29:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Good stuff next up.

Fri Jan 21, 12:29:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

This is yet another one of my (in)famous "hidden" posts, hidden in the comments so that my colleagues would have to actually click to read them. I don't know how much of a secret it is to my office-mates that I blog, but I can't afford to be too obvious, especially when writing about the office, since I like my job and intend to keep it.

The other day, I told one of my co-workers that my husband and I were going to a Seder at the Carlebach Shul. (Unfortunately, the website didn't say anything about reservations. Oh, well.) The colleague expressed confusion about a seder on a day other than Pesach/Passover, so I asked whether s/he had ever heard of a Tu BiSh'vat Seder. The answer was "No." So I explained that the Kabbalists (mystics) of Tzfat (Safed) of a few centuries ago had developed a ritual for Tu BiSh'vat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees, involving eating the fruits of the Land of Israel. To say that I was quite taken aback that an "am ha-aretz" (a Jewishly-undereducated Jew) like me had to explain a several-centuries-old ritual to an Orthodox Jew with a yeshiva education and several years of post-yeshiva Jewish studies is an understatement. Do non-Zionists and/or anti-Zionists simply not teach about the Tu BiSh'vat Seder in their yeshivot?

Fri Jan 21, 12:46:00 AM 2011  
Anonymous Just one datum for anecdotal evidence said...

Well, as someone who was educated in Orthodox schools and did a couple of post-high-school years in Israel...
I'd hardly heard of a Tu B'Shvat seder until I got to Israel, when one of my teachers held one. Almost none of my peers had, either.
We kind of knew that it was something the Kabbalists of Tzfat did around the sixteenth century, but... they also went out into the mountains to greet the Shabbat, and we don't do that either. I've still never attended a Tu B'Shvat seder, and except for the aforementioned teacher, I don't know anyone who has/goes to one every year.
(Note that I am definitely zionistic, and went to an extremely tzioni Orthodox high school which didn't have a Tu B'shvat seder. Is there some reason this should be connected to zionism? Most non-zionist jews that I know don't dispute the holiness and value of the Land of Israel.)

Fri Jan 21, 05:54:00 AM 2011  
Anonymous jdub said...

it's kind of a renewed custom. Fell out of practice in part because it was linked to the Sabbateans (whether accurately or not is a subject of a different discussion). Doesn't surprise me they didn't know about it. You're coming it at from the New Agey angle (esp at a Carlebach shul). This is not so widespread and it's not really tied to Zionism other than that Zionist orthodox jews tend to be Modern Orthodox jews.

Fri Jan 21, 08:37:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Okay, so, per Anecdotal Evidence and JDub, the Tu BiSh'vat Seder is not so well known even among Zionists and is a bit "New-Agey." I stand corrected, and am probably being too judgmental, which seems to be a problem for me, lately.

Fri Jan 21, 12:05:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I forgot to mention that this post was actually published in the early hours of Friday, Jan. 21, 2011 (under the title "I don't get it").

Fri Jan 21, 12:08:00 PM 2011  

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