A Tale of Two Tu B'Shvats
Last night, I (with a lot of help from my wonderful girlfriend, Eva) hosted 10 people for the Tu B'Shvat Disorder! '08. This wasn't quite a seder. We didn't explain the significance of each part of the meal. And we probably could've been a lot more religiously observant without sacrificing our punk rock* DIY ethic. But by golly, the meal was all vegan and with lots of variety, just the way a Tu B'Shvat celebration should be.
The festivities began with the traditional Opening of the Coconut. This tradition began two years ago with the first Tu B'Shvat dinner I organized, when we had trouble opening the coconut. Last year, we were all looking forward to giving it a go again, and one friend's struggle to open the coconut was quite memorable. This year, David succeeded with an easy-open coconut rather quickly. The two coconut halves were scooped out by two brothers, who donned kippot for the ritual.
With my "Horacore" mix (featuring Yidcore, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Zydepunks, Golem, Vulgar Bulgars, Rootwater, and a techno version of "Hava Nagila") playing in the background, we gathered at the table to feast. This year's beautiful array of food included coconut, horned melon, persimmons, pineapple, uglifruit, honeydew, cantaloupe, bananas, grapes, apples, peaches, tangerines, olives, starfruit, figs, dates, cherries, blueberries, kiwis, pistachios, almonds, pine nuts, cashews, walnuts, filberts, and Brazil nuts. We also had two different types of Baron Herzog wine, per The Jew & The Carrot's Kosher Organic Wine List.
Last night, as my body screamed out "This isn't a meal! You shouldn't eat this much fruit," I started to question whether I still appreciated Tu B'Shvat. It wasn't until I saw the turkey slices at my shul that I began appreciating the environmental (and vegetarian) values that are supposed to be at the center of Tu B'Shvat. Through a combination of seder and disorder, I came to adore my favorite holiday once again.
*Eva contends that my gathering wasn't all that punk.