January 10th 2016
If you’re in Israel this January 25th, you’ll get to experience one of the most inspiring holidays Jews observe. It’s called Tu B’Shvat, and it celebrates life, rebirth, and hope, particularly as applied to plants, fruits, trees, and the agricultural landscape of Israel. Here are 4 things you can do this Tu B’Shvat to join in the festivities, and commemorate life, hope, and the promise of a brighter future. (http://www.israel21c.org/what-to-do-at-tu-bshvat-in-israel/)
#1 Plant a Tree
What better way to celebrate life than to usher in more of it? This has become a custom in Israel, and you will see hundreds of school children planting trees across the countryside on Tu B’Shvat. Plant a tree this Tu B’Shvat, and create a permanent connection to this holy land.
#2 Try a New Fruit
Israel is famous for its 7 species that are special to the land and symbolic to the people. These include:
- Grapes (don’t forget to visit the wineries across the country!)
This holiday, taste pomegranate for the first time, order an exotic dish featuring figs, or explore the many health benefits of pure olive oil.
#3 Have a Tu B’Shvat Party
Have a party highlighting all the delicacies of the day. Dried fruits and nuts are eaten on Tu B’Shvat, and it’s traditional to throw a Tu B’Shvat “seder” as a way to sit around and enjoy these delicacies. The shuks (not to mention Israel’s many shopping malls) are spilling over with dried, candied, and fresh apricots, pineapples, mango, apples, and others, along with the traditional menu, so mix and match, and have a ball. (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/406520303840205316/)
#4 Learn a Valuable Lesson
Tu B’Shvat is celebrated in the dead of the winter, when the weather is at its coldest and the world is at its bleakest. This is no coincidence. The essence of the holiday reminds us that when things seem darkest, when the earth is hard, cold, and seemingly barren, that is exactly the time when hope, life, and the future are being born. Though we can’t see it at work, the seeds of tomorrow are germinating today, at the darkest, coldest time of the year. Teach your children (and yourself!) this important life lesson, and see life’s challenges take on new meaning.
These are just a few ideas of how you can make the most of Tu B’Shvat this year. Share your thoughts with us, and happy holidays!