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A Kabbalist’s Feast: Tu B’Shevat Seder at Pico Shul

tubishvat 034.1Tu B’shvat is Coming! Celebrate Nature’s Holy Gifts and Wisdom at our Kabbalists’ Feast. Last year this event sold out!

Year’s ago in the ancient city of Tzfat a group of Kabbalists uncovered the mystical secret’s of Tu B’shvat. They revealed these mystical secrets in a ceremony patterned after the Passover Seder and made a festival meal on the night of Tu B’shvat, the 15th of the month of Shvat. There are four cups of wine, a recited text, and ritual foods eaten. However in place of the story of the Exodus from Egypt the Tu B’Shvat seder uncovers the inner dimensions of reality as revealed in nature. In place of Matzah and chicken soup with Matzah balls, there are a dozen kinds of fruit to enjoy and to fuel spirited conversation.

Join Rabbi Yonah for a memorable and delicious excursion into the mystical realm of Tu B’Shevat with this unique Seder he has written for the event based on the ancient Seder recited by the kabbalists in Tzfat centuries ago.

The Tu B’Shevat Seder will take place Tuesday, February 3rd, at 8pm at Pico Shul. Reservations are recommended as space is limit. RSVP for $15 before January 26th. Tickets go up to $20 on January 26th.

Tickets will be online soon!

There will wine served at event, have a designated driver, or us Uber

There is a lot of food being served.

This is a sit down event.

You may be able to pay at door if we still have space.

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A Kabbalist’s Feast: New Edition of the Tu B’Shevat Seder

Years ago in the ancient city of Safed, a group of Kabbalists uncovered the mystical secrets of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish holiday referred to as the “New Year of the Tree.”

The secrets this group revealed were compiled in the 18th century into a ritual ceremony patterned after the Passover Seder and observed on the night of Tu B’shevat, the 15th of the month of Shevat, which coincides with the full moon.

The seder features four cups of wine, a ritual text, various fruits, cakes and other delicacies. In place of the story of the Exodus from Egypt the Tu B’Shevat seder uncovers the inner dimensions of reality as revealed in nature. In place of matzah and chicken soup with matzah balls, there are a dozen kinds of fruit. In place of Seder plates, there are plates piled high with fruits.

What you will need for your seder: Red wine, white wine, beer, cake, olives, dates, grapes, figs, pomegranates, walnuts, almonds, carob, apples, pears, and if you can, candied etrog rind. In addition, bring other fruits with inedible shells or peels, fruits with edible skins, but have seeds, fruits that are totally eaten, and fragrant fruits. Use as many different kinds of fruit as you can find, especially exotic fruit that you rarely eat.

How to make it happen: Gather a group of friends, and ask each to bring something for the feast. Set the table with a fine tablecloth, candles, flowers etc. Have a good time – there is really no “wrong” way to do the Seder. You can use my Seder guide as a roadmap and feel free to improvise, make additions, sing and dance!


Contact me if you have any difficulties with the download and we will email it to you!


Forest Wars: Just In Time For Tu’ B Shvat!

Just in time for Tu B Shvat!

This is a fight that has been going on since well before I was a college forest activist, trying to prevent the State of Oregon to preserve the last un-logged watershed in the state. We didn’t succeed.

Today a lawsuit was filed to halt a slate of new clear cutting in the Sierra Nevadas – the forest destroying technique that is commonplace across the third-world and still used in the USA.

The logging companies have a bogus claim that since they will replant more trees than they cut down, it is GOOD for the world to clear cut. This perverted and warped thinking is what guides much of US forest policy on Federally owned land.

Meanwhile, clear-cutting clogs streams and kills fish and causes erosion. Not to mention that if they are clearing Old Growth, they are destroying ancient forests that cannot be replaced. The LA Times reports:

Today, the Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson-based environmental group, filed lawsuits against the California Department of Forestry in seven California counties to halt logging plans for 5,000 acres across the Sierra Nevada and Cascade regions. The group contends that the agency approved the projects without properly analyzing carbon emissions and climate consequences under the California Environmental Quality Act. “Clear-cutting is an abysmal practice that should have been banned long ago due to its impacts on wildlife and water quality,” said Brian Nowicki, CBD’s California climate policy director. “Now, in an era when all land-management decisions need to be fully carbon-conscious, there is no excuse to continue to allow clear-cutting….”

Today’s lawsuits were filed in superior courts in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Modoc, Shasta, Tehama and Trinity counties. “By continuing to rubber-stamp Sierra Pacific Industries’ clear-cutting plans, the Department of Forestry is chopping a gigantic hole in the credibility of California’s climate policy,” Nowicki said. He added that, last August, Sierra Pacific withdrew plans to log more than 1600 acres following CBD lawsuits over the greenhouse gas effect. Several dozen new Sierra Pacific plans are pending.

Tonight is Tu B’Shvat. This should not be happening, but it is.

Of course the company, Sierra Pacific, claims that the environmental groups know nothing and want to kill jobs. Another lie.

By destroying what is left of the natural ecosystem of the Sierra Nevada we are shooting ourselves in the foot. Many more jobs can be created in sustainable industries like tourism if there are forests there to visit, fish to fish, streams to travel, and vistas to photograph.

There is nothing evil about logging – we need timber. The question is how do we get that timber, and from where? There are sustainable models for logging, and forest management. They are just being ignored by Sierra Pacific and others because they cost more, take more time, and require that forests not be felled in one swoop. They have lobbied for years to keep stricter forest protection from being enacted.

Clear-cutting is just not an option. Not now, not ever. Go to for more info.

(photo from

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Kabbalist’s Feast: A Tu B’Shvat Seder Compiled By Rabbi Yonah

NEW Click here to download a PDF of A Kabbalist’s Feast: Tu B’Shvat Seder [2005 Edition]cover

Tu B’Shevat has arrived, the holiday for the trees …” Tu B’Shevat (literally, Fifteenth of Shevat) is one of those Jewish holidays that means very little to many Jews. Most don’t even know that it is called a Rosh Hashanah (one of four), or why. From

Tu B’Shvat is this Sunday Night, Feb. 12, 2006 and all day Monday. I have compiled a pretty comprehensive and easy to use Seder for a Kabbalistic interpretation and celebration of the Holiday.

There are other resources online. Tu B’Shvat Movie from Aish.

A whole lot of short essays about Tu B’SHvat at