Fridays with Manny



You might not have heard about Tu BiShvat, even if you are Jewish. Nevertheless, this holiday signifies The New Year of the Trees, which appeared in the Jewish calendar on February 6th. The name of this holiday means that it occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat. Its history goes back two thousand years and brings to light how at that time, as it is now, there was a difference of opinion and disputes around the learned people.

The Talmud describes how at that time, rabbis were arguing about when four new years should be celebrated. What is remarkable for me is that trees were given such significance that it became one of the major holidays. When we lived in Israel, Tu BiShvat was celebrated by planting trees. It is known as the Israeli Arbor Day and is used as an example for the environmental awareness programs.

In North America starting in 1980, Tu BiShvat became known as Jewish “Earth Day”. I decided to write about it because of my love for trees, which I photograph all the time. These three images are blooming trees as a reminder that the spring is near.

Enjoy and Share with a Friend.