The new year for trees
One of the four new years in the Jewish calendar.
Tu Bishvat is one of the four moments throughout the year that we use to measure a “new year.” In this case, the new year for Trees, marking their “birthday,” was established as part of our responsibilities to bring tithes to the Temple.
Over the centuries, it took on more mystical meanings, and a “seder” was created to celebrate the holiday. Borrowing the model of the Haggadah from Passover, the Tu Bishvat Seder provides a structured way to engage with Tu Bishvat.
In addition, many use this holiday as an opportunity to engage in the important environmental issues our planet currently faces. We’ve begun adding a Climate and Environment section on the site to help us gather the important Torah we need as we face climate change.
In 5784, as we grapple with the ongoing conflict in Israel against Hamas and a time of great destruction and devastation in the world, a special seder has been developed. This special Haggadah, by Masorti Israel, focuses on the repair we aspire to and hope to actualize in this world.
Praying for blossoming, growth, and prosperity to come out of this great brokenness.
Rabbi Jonathan Bernhard encourages us to recommit to caring for our world and to see Tu b’Shvat as more than the “birthday for the trees.
Understanding the Jewish call to sustainability is rooted in a new category of mitzvot: bein adam l’adamah, between the self and the Earth.
A Tu Bishvat secret: If managed carefully, the seven species can go a long way to keeping a person fed for a whole year.
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