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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3 thoughts on “Happy New Year of the Trees (Tu B’Shvat)

  1. Care Brother,

    I just have time for a quick comment but it is most likely that Hemdat Yamim is actually by Rabbi Nathan z”l. In the Pesach section of the most beatiful version of the text, the first letter of each line is a notarikon for “I Nathan Benjamin Son of Elisha …etc” denoting it is by Rabbi Nathan z”l. If you check some of the material in the Qliphot text pdf I wrote; I actually paraphrase the first couple of paragraphs of the Pesach section of Hemdat Yamim as it discusses Nachashon (from whom the Davidic line descends via Boaz) helping part the waters and the swords of the Egyptians caught in the mighty torrent of the parting waters, form the teeth of Leviathan even unto the length of the Nile. Then Nachash (i.e. the Serpent) with the Mighty Name of the Divinity around his neck, leaps into the air and rips/tears (Tears = Phara similar to Pharoah) the tissue, etc. as in the act of circumcision as well as the act of the Serpent biting the womb of the Hind (Tzvi), etc. This is a Great Mystery, one that the Holy ARIZAL died for partially revealing unto his students… one worthy of deep contemplation. Good Night Dear Brother! And bless you and your family for this Holiday and every day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you brother. Bless you too!

      I utilized this seder at my Tu B’Shvat eve dinner with my wife. I modified it a bit as I can’t find all the fruits, so I use just 3 kinds of fruits representing 3 worlds instead of 30 (3 worlds x 10 sefirot), and utilized spiral tree meditation.

      Modern seder get it wrong though IMHO. As they use the same wine sequence as R. Nathan from white to red, but instead go ascending from Asiah to Atzilut when our Holy Lamps z”l descend from the name 72 to 52. For me, Red represent judgement and should associate more with Assiah. And R. Nathan never utilize pure Red wine as even in Assiah it isn’t pure judgment, but with a few drops of white (mercy)

      Liked by 1 person

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