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February 4, 2015

Tu B’Shevat

Tu B’Shevat

The New Year for Trees

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Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar—celebrated this year on Thursday, February 4, 2015—is the day that marks the beginning of a “new year” for trees. This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.

Legally, the “new year” for trees relates to the various tithes that are separated from produce grown in the Holy Land. These tithes differ from year to year in the seven-year shemittah cycle; the point at which a budding fruit is considered to belong to the next year of the cycle is the 15th of Shevat.

We mark the day of Tu B’Shevat by eating fruit, particularly from the kinds that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. On this day we remember that “man is a tree of the field” (Deuteronomy 20:19), and reflect on the lessons we can derive from our botanical analogue.

Follow the following links for more information about this holiday and the ideas it represents:

Man and Tree
"Man is a tree of the field." How many ways can this statement be interpreted?
Nature & Environment
What is the Jewish view on ecology and environmentalism?
Spiritual Insights
The mystical teachings of the Torah offer profound insights on the deeper nature of Tu B'Shevat
More on Tu B'Shevat
What is Tu B'Shevat? Why is it celebrated, and how is it observed?
Audio & Video
Tu B’Shevat for Kids
The New Year for Trees
Tu B'Shevat Recipes
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