A post-smicha Torah poem: Coming Back Down
A Tu BiShvat mother poem for Big Tent Poetry: Taste and See

A Short Haggadah for Tu BiShvat

Tu BiShvat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees, is this Thursday! I'll be celebrating it with the kids in our bar and bat mitzvah prep program at our synagogue, and have created a three-page "kitzur" (abbreviated/brief) haggadah for Tu BiShvat which we'll use as the roadmap for our conversations and our learning. I thought some of y'all might be interested in it too, so I'm sharing it here as well.

This short seder for Tu BiShvat includes some classical teachings about the day, morsels from Torah and Talmud as well as from other religious/spiritual traditions, a dash of environmentalism, blessings for fruits, and a specially-modified version of the traditional blessing which is said after eating snacks. This haggadah doesn't include the blessings over wine and grape juice -- we'll be doing this in a classroom and I'm trying to keep things simple! But maybe it will be helpful to you, so I'm happy to share:


If three pages sounds like more than you want to deal with (or more than you want to print -- save the trees, right?), and especially if you're psyched about the mystical/kabbalistic resonances of the seder's journey through the four worlds, check out the One-page haggadah for Tu BiShvat at NeoHasid.org. On that page you can also find study materials, suggestions on how to use their haggadah, and a variety of other seasonal resources -- if you don't already know NeoHasid, by all means, check them out.

Alternatively, if you're looking for something longer and more in-depth, I posted a longer haggadah for Tu BiShvat back in 2006, which you can download from this post: A new haggadah for Tu BiShvat. But this year I'm excited to be exploring the shortened version; while I designed it for use with teenagers, I hope it will suit adults, too. One final note: this haggadah was written here in the snowbound Berkshires, so it reflects our seasonal experiences -- if you're in a different climate zone (or a different hemisphere), you may need to revise a bit on the fly!