Chumi from Mea Shearim asks:
My friend included an avocado
amongst her Tu Bi’Shvat fruits. She also told me that it had kedushas
shvi’is. I thought that all vegetables were now from the eighth year and
therefore had no kedushah. I also thought that you were meant to eat
fruits on Tu Bi’Shvat and not vegetables. Please enlighten me.
You are a victim of a common misunderstanding. The avocado is
a fruit and not a vegetable. It grows on a tree and therefore one should make
the brocho of “ho’etz” on it. In U.K. English it is
(correctly) known as the avocado pear. Your friend was correct in
including it in her Tu Bi’Shvat celebrations. She was also right to warn
you that it had kedushas shvi’is this winter, in common with other fruit.
On the other hand, pineapples and bananas do not belong in the Tu Bi’Shvat
salad, since their blessing is “ho’adomo.” The plant they grow on is
not halachically classified as a tree. Not all vegetables are yet free of kedushas
shvi’is. We gave a list three weeks ago, which included carrots, onions,
garlic, sweet potato and pumpkin.