Are There Any Special Minhagim To Be Practiced in Honor of Tu B’Shevat?
Shailoh of the Week by Rabbi Zvi Nussbaum
Rabbinic Coordinator, Kosher Hotline Administrator for the Orthodox Union
The Magen Avrohom (131:16) writes that there is a minhag on Tu B’Shevat to eat many varieties of fruit. Some poskim write that one should especially eat the fruit of the species with which the land of Israel was blessed (grapes, figs, dates, olives, and pomegranates) [Yalkut Yosef – Minhagei Tu B’Shevat]. The Bnei Yisaschar (Ma’amer Chodesh Shevat) writes that there is a minhag to daven on Tu B’Shevat that one should merit a kosher and beautiful esrog. Piskei Teshuvos (288:7) writes that such a tefilah may even be said on Shabbos. However, one who sells esrogim should not say this tefilah on Shabbos, since his concern is for success in business and it is inappropriate to pray for one’s business dealings on Shabbos.
Some have the minhag to eat esrog jam on Tu B’Shevat. Mishnah Berurah (225:16) writes that one does not recite the bracha of shehechiyanu, even if one has not eaten an esrog this season. Since the esrog can live on the tree the entire year, it does not have a specific season.