Friday, February 02, 2007

A Person Is Like A Tree: A Sourcebook For Tu BeShvat

Yitzhak Buxbaum, Jason Aronson, 2000

Just image, an entire, 275 page book devoted entirely to the celebration of the minor festival of Tu B’Sh’vat. Well, here it is. Yitzhak Buxbaum has produced a marvellous manual for everything you ever wanted on the subject. The book deals with now-quite-trendy Tu B’Sh’vat Seder, which comes to us as a tradition from the mystical circle of the Arizal in 16th century Sefat, but also covers all sorts of other material (he does have to fill nearly 300 pages!). Contents include: ‘the history and customs of the Tu B’Sh’vat celebration’, ‘the spiritual meaning of Tu B’Sh’vat’, ‘the main elements of a Tu B’Sh’vat feast’, ‘a fruit box of teaching and tales’, ‘shorter teachings’, ‘indexed teachings’, ‘longer teachings’, ‘tales’. Buxbaum by profession is really a story teller, as his other books demonstrate. He describes himself elsewhere as a ‘student of Carlebach’ with Semichah in story-telling. A slightly mad book that is also a really useful repository of tales, ideas and recipes for Tu B’Sh’vat.

A Person Is Like A Tree