The custom of giving school children dried fruit to celebrate Tu B’Shevat is a shocking and appalling custom and needs to be uprooted from existence said the CEO of one of Israel’s largest fruit producing organizations.
Itzik Cohen told reporters that “instead of using the holiday of tree planting to promote eating fresh fruit which are far healthier than their dried counterparts, we are teaching our children to eat dried fruit which are full of preservatives and processed sugars.”
But more than that, Cohen says that dried fruit is an anachronistic custom the belongs in exile and has no place in Israel. “While Jews were spread out in cities across Europe [and the diaspora] they did not have the possibility of eating fresh fruits during this time of the year due to the frozen ground and the slow import process. Therefore the custom of eating dried fruits sprouted. For some inexplicable reason the custom continued and grew after we came back to Israel.”
“The original spirit of the holiday of Tu B’Shevat is to celebrate the planting of fruit trees in Israel and eating from their fruits.”
Cohen pointed out that “Israel is one of the world leaders in the number of fruits that are available here, and we export our fruit to many other countries.”
“You can fill eloquent banquet tables with fresh fruits from Israel including dates and almonds which grow here and are a much healthier option, containing a wide variety of benefits.”