Shevat and Tu B’Shevat Seders

Dec 31, 13 Shevat and Tu B’Shevat Seders

Posted by in Tu b'Shevat

Resources for all your Tu B’Shevat seder needs!

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Praying in the Feminine

In the Tu B’Shevat seder, I made the choice to have all prayers address Goddess (i.e. the feminine face of the Divine). This was done as a conscious and carefully considered choice. While Kohenet focuses on the Divine Feminine, I personally believe that “God” is male, female, both and neither — all at once. There are many different facets and faces that are presented to us based on our needs, experiences, and world-view. My stance used to be that if the Divine is inherently genderless, then it doesn’t matter what gender we pray in. I now know that it does matter. My experience has also taught me that while many people give voice to this, they do not act it out in practice. The easiest example is the one I use in the Tu B’Shevat Seder. עץ חיים הי למחזקים בה Eytz chayim hi l’ma-chazikim bah She is a tree of life for those who hold her fast This is generally translated as “it is a tree of life…”. People will say, “well Hebrew is gendered but English isn’t,” to explain the use of “it.” But, the same people will use the same “gendering” of the language to explain why God is a male. In effect, all the references to a feminine God(dess) have been removed from the translations but the masculine remains. An complete imbalance has been created. Making the choice to pray in the feminine helps to correct this imbalance. Check out this re-interpretation of the 23rd Psalm, and the following conversation, on a progressive Christian site and you’ll see a beautiful illustration of this at work. If God(dess) is (d) all of the above…then we should pray to the most appropriate facet for the occasion.   This essay is part of my project for my Tzovah (first-level) initiation with the Hebrew Priestess Institute. The project I have been working on for the past year and 1/2 is to develop seasonal seders. The physical deliverable I will present to the directors of...

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Tu B’Shvat Ritual

I’ve been thinking a lot about what a good, simple Tu B’Shvat ritual would be.

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Simple Tu B’shvat Ritual

It’s hard to get in the mood of Tu B’shvat when there’s snow on the ground and it’s freezing cold outside. But when you think about it, isn’t this when we need to believe that the sap is rising and spring WILL come back? Simple Tu B’shvat RitualPlease modify this however you like. I kept it very simple to allow people to play with it and add pieces that would speak to them. Consider ideas like using a bonsai or lucky bamboo instead of a bulb.Supplies: Bulb or Flowering branch prepped for forcing (available from many florists and garden shops) Container for bulb or branch Water Soil Candle Intent: Coaxing Spring Back Begin by taking three slow deliberate breaths to change your mindset from ordinary to sacred. Prepare your space by casting a circle in what ever technique you are most comfortable. Take your pot with soil or water and hold it between your hands. Focus on it and reach down into the dormant earth, drawing the energy into your body. Let this energy flow from your hands into the soil. Say, “Blessed be the Source of Life, source of beginnings and endings, source of life and death, source of sleep and rebirth. May Spring come again in its time, and with it abundance for all.” Take the bulb into your hands. Draw up Earth energy and feed it into the bulb. Say, “Blessed be the Source of Life through whom we receive fruit and flowering trees. May the flowers return in their time, for the benefit of all.” Place the bulb into the soil. Hold both together. Focus one by one on the elements of nature that the bulb will need to grow both the physical and the metaphysical. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. As you move through each, symbolically sprinkle that element on the bulb. (Careful with the fire!) Imagine the bulb growing and flowering and with it the Spring returning. “So Mote It Be” (I create as I speak) Sit quietly...

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