Giveret David is shaking a little blue and white box with the letters JNF on the side. “Tzedakah!” We hear stories from her many years spent in Israel, about kibbutz life, halutzim draining the swamps, planting trees, and singing “zoom gali gali,” and dancing the hora wearing triangular sun hats and short shorts. When the stories are done, a small paper bag is dropped onto each desk. It’s the same every year. I already know what to expect inside. Tu B’Shvat means carob. Really dry carob. Really hard and dry carob. But it’s carob from Israel, so they give it to us every Tu B’shvat. And usually carob chips. Even though they’re not as good as real chocolate, I can eat those. The hard, dry carob in a pod—forget it. It’s a good thing my father likes it. Do Israelis all have teeth of steel? I wonder. Well, happy Tu B’Shvat, Israel. Next year, keep the carob to yourself.
Today, I am not only living in Israel and still avoiding dried carob, I’m also happy to have learned that there are a lot of fruity things to eat on Tu B’Shvat that taste much better. Here are a few of my favorites:
Happy Tu B’Shavat!