Happy New Year of the Trees (Tu B’Shvat)

Chag Sameach! “The first ever published seder for Tu biShvat — Pri Etz Hadar (The Fruit of the Majestic Tree) — can be found in a kabbalistic text, first published as a pamphlet in Venice in 1728.[88] Written by an unknown author, Pri Etz Hadar was included in the Sefer Ḥemdat Yamim by R’ Yisrael Yakov Ben Yom Tov Algazi (1680-1756) (the Rosh Yeshiva of Beit El in Yerushalayim, a friend of the Ḥida, and father of the Maharit Algazi). One of the great mekubalim of his time, R’ Algazi’s name added greatly to the credibility of Ḥemdat Yamim despite its attribution by Rabbi Yaakov Emden (and modern scholars) to Natan Binyamin Ghazzati (1643-1680) the 17th century mystic who greatly encouraged the aspiring messiah, Shabbtai Tzvi. Sefer Ḥemdat Yamim remains a major source of kabbalistic minhagim (customs) still practiced by followers of the Ari z”l’s school of Jewish mysticism in Temani (Shami), Sefaradi, Mizrachi, and Ḥasidic Ashkenazi Jewish communities.” http://opensiddur.org/special-days/new-years-days/la-ilanot/pri-etz-hadar/

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