The month of Shevat is home to the holiday of Tu B’Shevat. The holiday is most commonly referred to as the “birthday of the trees” so why do we celebrate a New Year for the trees just as we have Rosh Hashanah, a New Year for humanity? Rachael has the answer.
Posts Tagged ‘holidays’
In celebrating Tu B’Shevat, it is customary to plant trees and to eat the shivat haminim, the seven species, that we read about in Jewish text. Rachael introduces each of the species and explains the significance behind these foods and how they relate to Tu B’Shevat.
Some Jewish festivals seem to adopt certain characteristics of secular holidays. Tu B’Shevat is one of them, even though it possesses a more complex history, a deeper meaning and a heightened spirituality. Sometimes confused with Arbor Day, Rachael delves into this common misconception.
A few weeks ago I went shopping with my 10 year old daughter. We were walking through the store and she was pointing out all kinds of things she’d like to have. This was very unusual behaviour since our family has a pretty well understood shopping etiquette. We can admire things in the store without necessarily wishing to have them. If there is something special the kids would like to have then we negotiate chores and extra duties. That’s not what she was doing. She was pointing at things and saying she’d like to have them – pajamas, toys, candy, - all kinds of things.
It struck me that her behaviour was much more informed by the Christmas media than by our family values so I decided to play it out. “I have a great idea!” I said, “I’ll get you that for Christmas!” She immediately stopped walking, was quiet, then looked at me and said: “When is it ever going to be our Christmas?” I just smiled at which point she said, “That’s not funny.”
For the last few weeks, every time an extraordinary request is made within the family we all simply say, ‘I’ll get you that for Christmas’, or ‘sounds good for Christmas Eve.’
Within a Jewish household, it’s added a whole new meaning to Christmas.
Happy Holidays everyone!