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Ballot Box: Issue 947

Isn’t there anything else we can do to give Tu B’Shevat the attention this special date deserves?


Last Week’s Poll

Pesach hotels, Purim parties, Succah hops, Tu B’Shevat… platters? C’mon, we’ve managed to make every other Yom Tov a reason to party. Isn’t there anything else we can do to give Tu B’Shevat the attention this special date deserves?

Well, you definitely had what to say about this… this was certainly a question whose time was ripe!

Crunch Those Numbers

So far, the dried fruit industry has cornered the Tu B’Shevat market, and we all have memories of cracked fillings from biting into a piece of inedible bukser. But truth be told, Tu B’Shevat is all about accounting. The product produced before the 15th of Shevat must be counted and tithed (i.e., taxed) separately from the post-Tu B’Shevat production. Let’s rebrand Tu B’Shevat as Accountants Appreciation Day; a day to recognize the profession that supports countless yungeleit, and offers ways to make everything you do tax deductible. So sharpen your pencils and send your accountant a thank-you note, along with a piece of bukser to chew on.

Food for Thought

Am I sensing that there are no foodies on the Ballot Box team? ’Cuz if they were foodies, the question would have been entirely irrelevant. How to celebrate Tu B’Shevat?! With pomegranate pulled brisket over barley risotto, of course! And that’s just for starters. Then comes the bruschetta brushed with fig jam, roasted grape salad, and seared breast of duck with olive tapenade. Yes, we foodies wait all year for Tu B’Shevat. It’s second only to Shavuos, when we get to serve ravioli with creamy béchamel sauce. Although it has the added advantage that we don’t catch our teenage sons snitching deli roll from the fridge….

Back to Basics

You know how the more exotic a food sounds, the better we all think it is? So, if you’re having trouble convincing people to join you in eating all Shivas Haminim, here’s an eitzah. Send out an invitation telling all your friends that in honor of Tu B’Shevat, a special spread of Minimah Savish will be served. No one will want to admit that they never heard of it.

“Mmmm,” they’ll surely say, “Minimah Savish! My favorite! I can’t wait!”

When they arrive, they might seem confused when you come out with trays of Shivas Haminim. “Wait,” they’ll exclaim, “where’s the Minimah Savish?” Don’t respond to this. Just coincidentally take the label which says Shivas Haminim and hold it in front of the mirror. Watch as comprehension dawns and the faces pale slightly. You are serving Minimah Savish. Just a little backward….

Sixty-Day Countdown

How to celebrate Tu B’Shevat? By booking your cleaning lady for Pesach! Proof of this lies in the names of the cleaning sprays — Spring Bouquet, Ocean Mist, Lavender, and Tea Tree. Per Wikipedia, their additives include lemon, lime, or orange juice. So Tu B’Shevat is clearly when Pesach cleaning begins! Is that not something to celebrate?


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 947)

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