Welcome to our Tu B’Shevat Page!
Click on one of our three sections for more information:
Tu B’Shevat Background
Tu B’Shevat Readings
Tu B’Shevat Activities for kids
In 2012 Tu B’Shevat begins on the evening of February 7 and continues until sunset on February 8th. In 2013, the holiday is on January 25 and 26. Tu B’Shevat is the New Year of the trees.
The letters of the word “Tu” are equivalent to the number 15, and Shevat is the name of a month in the Hebrew Calendar. So, Tu B’Shevat means the 15th day of Shevat. It usually falls in January or February in the secular calendar. While it may be cold and wintry in many locations at this time of year, in Israel trees are beginning to blossom.
The Bible does not mention the holiday of Tu B’Shevat. It likely started as a folk festival to celebrate the changing seasons and was celebrated by priests taking portions of their harvest to the Temple in Jerusalem.
After the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, Tu B’Shevat took on new and different meanings.
Today, for many Jews, Tu B’Shevatis an opportunity to appreciate nature and the environment. It is a holiday about rebirth and renewal. In Israel, Tu B’Shevat celebrates the beginning of the fruit crop.
Some Jews celebrate Tu B’Shevat by having a Tu B’Shevat seder, a meal that follows a particular order (modeled on a Passover seder).
The Bible mentions seven species, and these have become traditional Tu B’Shevat snacks: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.
If you would like to celebrate Tu B’Shevat, we have some readings for adults and word puzzles for children.
Please email Rabbi Baum if you have Tu B’Shevat ideas to share.
Reading 1: “There is an eternity within us…”
Reading 2: “All things alive…”
Reading 3: “Rooted deeply in the earth…”
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You may also want to check out this website that has recipes for “worm” foods, like dirt cake. A fun project idea is to make your own recycled paper. One of our participants suggests a Tu B’Shevat lollipop tree.
When is Tu B’Shevat 2012? Sunset of February 7th through Sunset of February 8th
When is Tu B’Shevat 2013? Sunset of January 25th through Sunset of January 26th
When is Tu B’Shevat 2014? Sunset of January 15th through Sunset of January 16th