Thursday, February 09, 2006

Tu B'Shevat – a New Year of Trees.

Here I begin to tell about the Jewish traditions and holidays, which we celebrate in Israel.
This series is started symbolically – with a New Years of Trees. Let it be my blogging year start.
On February 13 we celebrate a minor Jewish festival Tu B'Shevat – a New Year of Trees. “Tu B'Shevat” means the 13-th day of month Shevat of the Jewish calendar. It falls each year on different day in January or February. But never mind which date it is, each year at this time almond trees begin to flower. Tu B'Shevat is the beginning of a new cycle for the tithe on fruit trees. This is the most beautiful season in Israel.
The New Year of the Trees -- Rosh Hashanah La'ilanot -- is an ancient concept. Though the 15th of Shevat isn't mentioned in the Bible, the Mishnah tells us that on this day the tithes on fruit were taken to the Temple in Jerusalem. Tu B'Shevat was also the start of the tree-planting season when God determined which trees would live, which trees would not and how fruitful any would be in the coming year.
The early pioneers of the State of Israel began the practice of celebrating Tu B'Shevat by planting trees.
In the 1600s, Jewish mystics in Safed created a Tu B'Shevat seder modeled after the Passover seder. Participants eat four different categories of fruit and drink four different combinations of red and white wine or grape juice, symbolizing the four seasons and the mystical "four worlds"
I publish here two pictures: one of the blooming almond tree, and the next of my husband and daughter keeping the old tradition.


Gali said...

Pictures were not uploaded. I will try to publish them in the next post.

Elena said...

Beautiful picture! Thanks so much for sharing... :)

BeaK. said...

Gali, I love your photo's, especially the one of your husband and daughter planting the tree.

My daughter-in-law is Jewish and I have learned a lot about the customs, belief's and history from having her in our family.

There is always so much to learn, isn't it?

Your blog is very nice, great job!

I will see you on WIN.

Bea Kunz