January 16, 2014
Frequently Asked Question
What is Tu B’Shvat?
Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of Trees, is a Jewish holiday celebrating trees, plants and produce akin to a Jewish Arbor Day. The Jewish legal tradition, halakha, includes many restrictions and guidelines pertaining to agriculture and Tu B’Shevat presents an opportunity to raise our consciousness about people’s relationship to the earth.
How do we celebrate it?
Tu B’Shvat is often celebrated by planting saplings and by participating in a seder where wine, fruits and nuts and other produce from trees are consumed.
What does it mean?
Tu B’Shvat literally means the 15th of Shevat, the date on the Hebrew calendar when the holiday is celebrated. Referred to in the Mishna as the Jewish New Year for trees, Tu B’Shvat was the day when farmers would offer the first fruits off the trees they planted, after the trees had turned four years old. The following year, the produce would be theirs to use for consumption and financial benefit. The Tu B’Shvat seder is borrowed from the Jewish mystical tradition of the middle ages (kabbalah).Read more