“Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday dear trees, Happy birthday to you.”
This is how Chabad Mineola in New York began its Virtual Tu Bishvat Kabbalistic Seder. More than 100 people joined this uplifting online experience. It was hosted by Shliach Rabbi Anchelle Perl.
“Tu Bishvat empowers us to create a great Tikun upon all our eating throughout the year,” he noted. “Our eating has the potential to reach the level of Adam & Chavah before their spiritual descent.”
“Eating mindfully is an idea I have always associated with food and health,” explained Jesse Schneider, “but tonight, I learned that there are 4 paths or stages in the Torah view of the historical and self-development spiritual levels of eating.”
“As a people we first began ‘Slave Eating’ in Egypt. We progressed to the second stage of ‘Free-Person Eating’ with Matzah when leaving Egypt. At stage three we graduated to a level of ‘Angelic Eating’ with the arrival of Manna from heaven during the 40 years in the wilderness. But the highest and ultimate level of eating is ‘Soul Eating’ where we can eat everything but with the proper intent and holy desire and expressed through making a bracha before eating.”
“We were inspired to take away another fascinating aspect to Judaism even a mundane matter like food, something we all routinely do out of necessity, without much thought, contains volumes of lessons,” shared Malka Kipnes, another participant.