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Posts Tagged ‘Tu B’Shevat’

Tu Bishvat for Today’s World

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Happy Tu Bishvat everyone!!  It’s the birthday of the trees - the day we celebrate and contemplate the trees and growing things around us…Yes, we have a day for that.  It’s one of the few days that has no controversy surrounding it - there’s no historical issue - no revisionist propaganda -  no one who could argue that this is hurting someone or based in a racist philosophy or demands archeological proof that there were really trees in the ancient world.  We simply celebrate trees and the fruit or nuts they produce… oh oh, I said it…the word that brings shakes and quivers to the culinary industry…the word that makes every parent pale when it’s mentioned and causes stressful conversations before play dates…yes, the dreaded word - NUTS.

So to be politically correct, let’s agree to have a nut free Tu Bishvat.  But can we sing songs about nuts?  The first Tu Bishvat song I ever learned was ‘Hashkaidiyah Porachat’ (The Almond Tree is Blooming) and I made hand motions and pretended to be an almond tree.  Maybe all the kids who want to sing the almond song should be allowed to do so in the school office.

Though I understand that there are growing fruit allergies present in children as well.  Now we’re going to have to celebrate Tu Bishvat without fruit and nuts.  Um, gee, I think the only politically correct way to celebrate the birthday of the trees is with cake (nutfree of course).

Oh well, it’s tough being a Jew.


A Little Insight on Tu B’Shevat for Rosh Chodesh Shevat

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

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.

The 7 Species of Tu B’Shevat

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

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.

Tu B’Shevat: Not the Jewish Arbor Day

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

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.

Tu Bishvat - It’s Inevitable

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Tu Bishvat is right around the corner - this weekend to be exact.  I’m watching the snow fall and the temperature hover around -15C and I can’t say I’m in a very ‘happy birthday trees’ mood.

This week alone I had 3 of my children home with the flu and my husband suspected every tickle in his nose… Last night I got an email from my sons’ school informing us that within 5 days they will be moving downtown creating a 1.5 hour commute (one way) for my sons - 3 hours every day back and forth.  To deal with this I needed to cancel one of the ongoing Mussar groups that meets weekly.  Half my office is heated while the other half has a less efficient system so ultimately right now we can choose to sit in a t-shirt or file papers in our coats and mitts - ok, maybe not that bad but it feels that bad…

Anyone wishing a tree a happy birthday yet?

And then I realized how easy it is to just put off the Jewish stuff.  It’s only trees, right?  I mean, Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Pesach - that’s major Jewishness, but trees??  How easy to just lose myself in fixing vents, finding schools and chicken souping a cold.  But ultimately, I don’t want to choose being the person who copes and bandaids.

Being Jewish in every moment means I can choose meaning over chores.  Not to say I won’t fix the vents or find the schools but now I am motivated to do that so I get them out of the way because understanding Tu Bishvat, celebrating nature and trees, reminding myself of my place within the whole - that’s way beyond the chicken soup.

So on Tu Bishvat I will indeed stand outside, heavily layered in winter clothing, lean on a tree, close my eyes and think of Torah and Trees of Knowledge and Trees of Life. Genesis clearly tells us that within hours of creation, we headed to a tree and changed the world forever.  We’re forever connected to the trees, it’s probably worth a thought one day a year.

Have a great Tu Bishvat!

Some Tu B’Shevat Insights for You

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010