The Knesset celebrated the Tu Bishvat holiday on Wednesday with a special Seder in Chagall Hall, which was held in the presence of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, MKs from all the parliamentary groups and teenagers from the Aharai social educational NGO and the Hartman Institute.

The ceremony was hosted by MKs Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) and Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) and former MK Ruth Calderon, who initiated last year`s Seder. Rabbi David Stav of the Tzohar rabbinic organization assisted.

Knesset holds Tu Bishvat Seder; Speaker Edelstein: ”I hope we will carry on this tradition”

”Tu Bishvat is not only Rosh HaShanah La`Ilanot (”New Year of the Trees”), as determined in the Mishnah, it is also the day on which the Knesset celebrates its birthday,” Edelstein said during the Seder. ”This year we are marking not only the birthday, but also the 50th anniversary of the parliament building, which has become one of the symbols of the State.”

”The seder we are holding began as a tradition of the Mekubalim (Kabbalists), and I hope we will carry on this tradition in the coming years,” he said.

During the Tu Bishvat seder it is customary to drink four cups of wine and bless the Seven Species associated with the Land of Israel in the Torah, which according to Deuteronomy 8:8 are wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranate, olives and dates.