Tu BiShvat (Hebrew for the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat) is the new year of the trees.
Tu BiShvat, called the "New Year of the Trees," falls at a seemingly incongruous time of year.
Tu BiShvat is a minor festival whose provenance dates only to the time of the Second Temple. However, the kabbalists who clustered around the great fifteenth-century mystic Isaac Luria of Safed placed great weight on the holiday, creating new festivities, gatherings at which hymns were sung, fruit (particularly carob) was eaten, and four cups of wine were taken (as in the Passover seder).
This year is a leap year, and February 29th is Shabbat. What does a leap year look like on the Jewish calendar?
This is a prayer is for the wisdom and skills of medical scientists, researchers, and public health officials around the world fighting the novel coronavirus.
The election for the 2020 World Zionist Congress is open for another two weeks, and a strong showing by the “Vote Reform” slate is critical.