Hope you are all keeping warm!
We celebrated Tu B’Shvat, the birthday of the trees, last Sunday. The students experienced a Tu B’Shvat Seder which is a service with food where we drink four cups of juice (when they get older - wine), one clear for winter, one mixed with a little red and mostly clear for spring, one with more red and a little clear for summer, and the final cup is all red for fall. The idea is to think of the land and the seasons and to be appreciative of the cycle and the harvest. As part of the seder we said blessings and ate of the seven species mentioned in the Torah that were prevalent in Biblical times in Israel and we made connections between Jewish people and our history and fruits or grains that are hard on the outside and soft and edible on the inside like a pomegranate, fruits that are hard on the inside and edible and soft on the outside, such as dates or olives (with pits) and produce that is edible in its entirety like grapes.
Ask your student how a fruit for which the outside is hard but the inside is soft is like a Jewish person in our history.
We also completed reading The Giving Tree. The students made amazing connections between their lives and the story which lead to a deeper understanding of the need for giving and taking in connection with our environment and with our families. The students discussed that the tree gave too much, so much that it nearly killed her and the boy just kept taking. The students discussed how both extremes were not good, asking for too much and giving too much. They had a new awareness that a balance of giving and taking is their responsibility.
It was a fabulous class. Looking forward to our next class.