Hebrew School Tu BiShvat Seder. (Photo courtesy of Ab Roher)

The Celebration Of Tu BiShvat

Congregation Beth Tikvah Hebrew School, located in Wantagh, learned about the upcoming holiday of Tu BiShvat from Rabbi Moshe Weisblum. The Rabbi (seated at head of table) led a Tu BiShvat Seder with the Hebrew School and explained to the students the importance of this environmental holiday as a reminder of their duty to care for the natural world.

Tu BiShvat or the “New Year of the Trees” is Jewish Arbor Day. The holiday is observed on the 15th (tu) of the Hebrew month of Shvat. Scholars believe that originally Tu BiShvat was an agricultural festival, marking the emergence of spring. In the 17th century, Kabbalist mystics created a ritual for Tu BiShvat that is similar to a Passover seder. Today, many Jews hold a modern version of the Tu BiShvat seder each year. The holiday also has become a tree-planting festival in Israel, in which Israelis and Jews around the world plant trees in honor or in memory of loved ones and friends.

—Submitted by Jo-Ann Hertzman

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