The Jewish Year has many Holidays, a weekly day of rest – Shabbat and Today – Tu B’Shvat, the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat, is a holiday also known as the New Year for Trees.
There are a few customs or observances related to this holiday. One custom is to eat a new fruit on this day, or to eat from the Seven Species (shivat haminim) described in the Bible as being abundant in the land of Israel. The Shivat Haminim are: wheat, barley, grapes (vines), figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (honey) (Deut. 8:8). Some people plant trees on this day.
In the 16th century, kabbalists, developed a Seder ritual conceptually similar to the Pesach (Passover) Seder, discussing the spiritual significance of fruits and of the shivat haminim. This custom spread primarily in Sephardic communities, but in recent years it has been getting more attention among Ashkenazim.
I want to take this day as an opportunity of some introspection or Meditation.
Tu B’Shvat is an opportunity to reflect and be thankful to God for the gift of nature
We do not judge trees. We accept them as they are – with leaves or with no leaves.
So, it be should with people as well. We should not judge them – accept them as they even if they have no leaves – deficient – we all have our deficiencies
A wise person said to me when I said this added. This does not excuse us from trying to improve our own traits or try to help those closest to us to improve their traits.
Just as the year has seasons and cycles some which are better or worse – so in our lives we have the good and the bad – just as we accept the seasons as part of life, we need to accept the bad and be thankful for the good. We can complain about the weather or complain about life – but does it help?
Trees provide shade – We should provide protection to those who are vulnerable
God creations are perfect – just think if your favourite fruit or that amazing salad
Reflect on what we are doing to maintain to help the Eco system and make sure man does not destroy the world through pollution, deforestation, abuse of precious resources.
Rain – I live in Israel where we pray and rejoice over rain, I work in London where we complain that it is raining again, and I grew up in Cape Town, we there is none!!
Consider recycling, renewable energy
Reflect on nature. Reflect on the nature of our bodies that we need to take care of.
Some people prayer on this day for a beautiful Etrog. My prayer is that we should pray a to have beautiful world – a world of truth where we can live in peace starting with inner peace, peace in our families and with those who do not share our views.