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Monday, 15 Shevat, 5780

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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15 Shevat - New Year for Trees
Jewish History

R. Nechemiah was a brilliant Torah scholar who lived in Dubrowna, a town in what is now Belarus. He was a disciple of the first three Rebbes of Chabad, R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi , R. DovBer of Lubavitch, and R. Menachem Mendel Schneersohn of Lubavitch (who was also his first cousin through marriage). He kept a scholarly correspondence with R. Menachem Mendel, some of which is preserved in his book of responsa, Divrei Nechemiah.

R. Nechemiah was born on 15 Shevat in the year 5548 from Creation (1788), and passed away on his sixty-fourth birthday in 5612 (1852).

Link: Man Alive

Laws and Customs

Today is Tu BiShevat ("the 15th of Shevat") which 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 must be separated from produce grown in the Holy Land. We mark the day by eating fruit, particularly from the "Seven Kinds" that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land (wheat, barley, 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.

Learn About Tu BiShevat

Tachnun is omitted from the prayer services today.

Daily Thought

G‑d is not just big—He is infinite.

If He were only big, then those things that are small would be further from Him, and those things that are big would be closer.

But to the Infinite, big and small, far and near are irrelevant terms.

Nothing is too small for His concern; no place is too far that He cannot be found there.

He is everywhere, and He is found wherever anyone will seek Him.