This week, the Jewish Community is coming together for an all-ages, participatory, mystical seder for The New Year of the Trees. We’ll consider how to bring blessing to everything fruitful, and to the Tree of Life itself, for the benefit of all living beings. Rabbi David Seidenberg, the founder of NeoHasid.org, will be leading. There will be information tables from local environmental groups as well.
You are invited! Join us Wednesday, January 15, 6:15 – 8:00 p.m. at Congregation Nevei Kodesh, 1925 Glenwood Drive. The evening is appropriate for all ages, and families are welcome. There will be child care available. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and bring one or more of the following: An object you found in Nature that was not shaped by Human Hands, Information or a Story about an Environmental Action or Project you care about, A poem, song or story about trees, or Red or White Grape juice to share.
Here’s a taste, from Rabbi David Seidenberg and neohasid.org
Tu B’Shevat — the full moon of Shevat — the New Year for the Trees is Wednesday! It’s the Kabbalistic celebration of the cosmic Tree of Life, and it’s been the focal point of Jewish ecology since the 70’s.
Tu B’Shevat is the time we pray for the fruit trees to have enough water, sunshine, and love to be able to produce for all of us (all the creatures, not just humans). And it’s a time when we reflect on fixing the “sin of the human eating the fruit of the tree of knowing” — which essentially means reflecting on how much and how greedily we take, and how we might change that.
When God created the first human being, Adam Harishon, and stood the creature up, it was magnificent like one of the ministering angels. God said: “If I let this one be the unique and only human in the world, then all the other creatures will see it and say, ‘this one created us’. Therefore, ‘it is not good for the adam to be alone’. (Gen 2:8) So God split the human into male and female.
When the Earth heard that there would be human beings that would multiply, she trembled and quaked. The Earth said: “I do not have in me the strength to feed the flocks of humanity.” God said: “I will feed humanity at night with sleep, and so share the burden with you.”
According to this midrash, humanity must bet fed by our sleep, by our resting, by our dreaming, by being connected to the realm of the unconscious, to the realm of the soul. If we are not fed in this way, we can (will?) overwhelm and destroy the Earth. What about the way we live now makes it hard to connect to the unconscious? How can we strengthen our connection to it? Come celebrate and explore!
This event is sponsored by Congregation Bonai Shalom, Congregation Har HaShem, Hazon, Haver, JCC Boulder, Nevei Kodesh the Jewish Renewal Community of Boulder, and Tuv Ha’aretz: Boulder’s Interfaith CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).