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Next week the people in Israel will be celebrating Tu Bishvat.
What is Tu Bishvat and when do we celebrate it?
The name ‘Tu Bishvat’ – ט”ו בשבט means ‘the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat’. (The numerical value of ט”ו is 15)Tu Bishvat is the Jewish New Year of the trees, and we celebrate it at the time that most trees in Israel begin to bud. This is the time of year when the winter has just ended and spring is coming.
Tu Bishvat is the birthday of the trees and it reminds Jewish people of our close ties to the Holy Land of Israel.
The origins of Tu Bishvat remind us that we are the descendants of an indigenous people, heirs to an ancient wisdom whose echoes can inform our choices today on subjects like how to eat in a manner that is healthy for us and sustainable for the whole planet, or how to rest in a 24/7 world.The Cabbalists of Safed encourage us to open ourselves to mystery, wonder, creativity and celebration; this is an oral wisdom, something learned from others, rather than from books. They tell us to eat a lot of fruits on this day and make a lot of blessings in order to rectify the reality created after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.The spreading in many parts of the Jewish world of drums, yoga and meditation is part of this phenomenon. The peaceful and the joyous in Jewish life are being rediscovered. Tu Bishvat is a moment to celebrate new life and new beginnings, physical and cultural.
Why did the trees get a New Year of their own?The trees saw that G-d made a New Year for mankind and said: It is written in the Torah “The man is like a tree…” Therefore we also have to have a New Year of our own.”They were asked “What month?“The trees answered: “Trees need water, therefore it’s better to have it in the month of Shvat”– there is also a Mitzva of planting in that month.
ULPAN-OR TU BISHVAT EVENT
We, at Ulpan-Or will be celebrating Tu Bishvat on Tuesday, Feb 7th at 5:30 PM in our offices in Jerusalem with a local band, tasting fruits and singing together nice popular Israeli songs. If you happen to be in Israel – we will be happy to have you celebrating with us!! Text and songs will be taken from Ulpan-Or’s special Tu Bishvat Haggadah, which can be purchased from our online shop at: http://www.ulpanor.com/osc/