Boulder Hebrew High students now have a greater appreciation for trees after Wednesday’s Tu B’Shvat Seder.
The program, held at Boulder’s JCC, was lead by teacher and Jewish Yoga instructor, Raj Seymour. Raj explained that the group was coming together to celebrate the Jewish Earth Day, which was originally postponed due to a snowstorm.
[Tu B’Shvat] brings environmentalism into Judaism,” he said.
He began the Seder by talking about the first fruit. This fruit is hard on the outside and soft on the inside. All four of the fruits relate to human nature. Accompanying the fruit was white grape juice, which is symbolic for the winter and purity. Fruits such as oranges were enjoyed. Raj and the group then discussed Tikkun Olam, which is repairing the world.
The second fruit was soft on the outside and hard on the inside. White and red grape juice was mixed together to represent spring.
The group then discussed tree horoscopes from Tree Source and most said that their tree sign fit them perfectly.
“How can you help the earth?” Raj asked the group. Answers like donating money to green causes, supporting renewable energy, planting trees, walking to school and using reusable water bottles came up.
The third fruit was soft on the outside and inside, like various types of berries and grapes. “The Torah is like a tree,” the group discussed. The group then designed their own trees, and drank a “spiritual” red glass of grape juice to represent that they have enough, wholeness in the world.
Lena Linares, a 14-year-old Niwot High School student, said that she enjoyed the program. “I had fun learning about Tu B’Shvat,” Linares said. “My favorite part was eating.”
Reed Forman, a 14-year-old Louisville Middle School student, also said that he enjoyed the program and that he loves to come to Hebrew High, in general.
I love it. I love this place. At school, there’s not many Jews. This is a place to learn about our ancestry. I didn’t know much about Tu B’Shvat until now.”
Raj concluded by asking, “What can you do for the earth and for yourself?”
To learn more about Hebrew High in Boulder, contact Sara Goldberg.
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