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Tu BiShvat

Hands holding a mound of dirt and a small plant

The way we celebrate Tu BiShvat has changed over the years – a case-in-point of how Jewish life and observance has been transformed in our day, due in no small part thanks to the successes of the State of Israel.

 

Rabbi Neal Gold
Dried fruits in the supermarket in Jerusalem

Coming a month and a half before the spring equinox and two months before Passover, Tu BiShvat provides a glimmer of springtime at a time when winter can often be at its cruelest.

Cantor Evan Kent
Snow covered road surrounded by trees -- and white lights in the foreground

Last year, my pre-school-aged daughter was acutely aware that her friends and their families would be celebrating Christmas and that she wasn’t going to be a part of it.

Dr. Emily Teck
Two loaves of challah on a silver platter next to a cup of wine

Miraculously, a delicate network of threads is emerging amongst us, linking us heart to heart.

Rabbi Galit Cohen Kedem
Smokey forest scene after wildfire

When a wildfire leveled my home when I was 20, I fell into a deep depression. Later, when I began to re-engage, I started to associate my emergence with Tu BiShvat.

Juliette Hirt
Israeli children, eyes covered, reciting the Sh'ma

Tu BiShvat (Jewish Arbor Day) is the time of year when Israeli schoolchildren plant trees. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that a teacher instituted the tree-planting custom.

Rabbi Ofek Meir
Tree as seen from below

In college, being outdoors and celebrating the natural world was an important part of my spirituality, so I sought out hints that other Jews felt the same way.

Rabbi Daniel Swartz
Forest in summer; sun streaming in on tall, full leaf trees

Even though “Crossing Delancy’s” Sam the Pickle Man and Tu BiShvat both are somewhat predictable, they also are filled with wisdom, poetry, hope, and faith.
 

Rabbi Sharon G. Forman
Arms hugging the trunk of a tree with the hands coming together to form a heart shape in front of it

May each of us, at this Tu BiShvat – the New Year of the Trees – refuse to be complacent in accepting the ills and sorrows of our lives. 

Rabbi Emma Gottlieb
Bins of colorful dried fruit -- mango, banana, kiwi, pineapple -- in Jerusalem supermarket

In my past life as a cantor in Los Angeles, I was always facilitating the concept of “Jewish time” for others. Here in Jerusalem, it just sort of happens on its own.

Cantor Evan Kent

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