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tu b’shvat

  • A Brief History of Tu B’shevat

    Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of Trees, falls on the 15th day of the month of Shevat – this year from sundown on Feb. 7 to sundown on Feb. 8, 2001. Tu B’Shevat is the beginning of a new cycle for the tithe on fruit trees. Before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem… More ▸

  • Tu B’shevat Feature: Behind a Lot of Israeli Trees, There Are Fascinating Stories

    Since the first Tu B’Shevat ceremonies in what is now Israel in the 1880s, it has been customary to plant trees there. Over the years many of these planted trees have blended into the landscape. Behind their casual appearance, there are compelling stories. Here are a few: “The Botanist’s Palms” Drivers traveling along the coastal… More ▸

  • Tu B’Shevat Affords Opportunity to Share Political and Spiritual Tastes

    The holiday of Tu B’Shevat which we celebrate on Feb. 1 this year is a time when many Jews gather for a special Tu B’Shevat seder, celebrating the renewal of the land of Israel and its first fruits. The seder includes four cups of wine: The first is white wine, symbolizing winter, when seeds and… More ▸

  • Tu B’shevat’s Four Questions: Seder Celebrates Link with Earth

    On the full moon or 15th of the month of Shevat we celebrate the new year of the trees. The 15th in Hebrew letters is “tu” and so we call the day Tu B’Shevat. While Tu B’Shevat has always been considered a minor festival, it has gained new significance in the last decade as an… More ▸

  • Tu B’shevat Feature (1): Sources Offer Varying Interpretations of Trees

    On the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, the New Year for trees is celebrated. According to Webster’s Deluxe Unabridged Dictionary, a tree is “a woody, perennial plant with one main stem or trunk which develops many branches.” So, on Tu B’Shevat, we celebrate oak trees, maple trees, olive trees, fig trees and… More ▸

  • Tu B’shevat Feature (2): Explaining to Grandchildren Jewish Environmental Action

    I can imagine that 50 years from now, while enjoying our annual community Tu B’Shevat celebration, my teen-age grandchild might ask: “What did the Jewish community do at the end of the last century when you learned that the burning of fossil fuels was probably causing global warming?” “You have to understand,” I will tell… More ▸

  • Tu B’shevat Feature: Winter Holiday Celebrates the Contributions of Trees

    Many American Jews may find it difficult to imagine April 15, the tax deadline, as a spiritual holiday, celebrated with special ceremonies, prayers and foods. But a Jewish holiday that usually falls in late January or February is connected to the idea of taxation. In addition, the holiday is a time of rejoicing. In ancient… More ▸

  • Tu B’shevat Turns Political at One Tree-planting Event

    As thousands of Israelis planted trees on Monday to mark the Tu B’Shevat holiday, at least one ceremony took on political dimensions this year. The main ceremony for the holiday, which is the traditional new year for trees, took place at Givat Massua in Jerusalem in the presence of President Ezer Weizman. The theme of… More ▸