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Israel celebrates the New Year of Trees: Tu B’Shvat


By Eden

January 11, 2022

Jews in Israel today celebrate the New Year of the Trees (Tu B’Shvat), a festival on the Hebrew calendar that is commemorated by eating nuts, drinking wine and planting trees, although it is not a holiday on the business calendar.

The occasion “represents a return to all that was Israel in the reign of King Solomon. It is a festival related to the land and everything that the land gives,” Rabbi Daniel Whiteman explains to Efe.

“This day many children plant trees in schools, which do not have to be fruit trees and are forming small groves,” he adds.

It coincides with the commemoration of the anniversary of the creation of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, which the deputies and employees of the House celebrate by planting trees and shrubs in its surroundings.

Whiteman explains that “when the Jews were not yet in Israel, they received fruits from here that were sent to Europe and other parts of the world. But many were spoiled and that is why they began to consume them dry, a tradition that continues to this day” .

In addition, these fruits were also given as a kind of tithe to the priests and the poor.

Those most consumed today are the fruits that the Bible associates with the land of Israel, such as dates, figs and barley.

“Date honey is typical of ours. Before, bee honey was unknown,” says the rabbi, who adds that the consumption of the fruits is served with red, rosé and white wines.

The Tu Bishvat has its origin in the Mishnah (compilation of Jewish laws of oral tradition), and not in the Bible (Pentateuch) like other celebrations.

Related to the awakening of nature after winter, it is commemorated at the midpoint of the rainy season, between January and February, and today its meaning is linked to the connection of the Jews with the Land of Israel, so the families often take children to the fields to plant trees.

Source: La Vanguardia