Tu B’Shevat — Rosh HaShanah L’ilanot — New Year for Trees

Wednesday, February 4, 2015, is the Jewish Holiday, Tu B’Shevat.  “Tu” is not a Hebrew word, rather it is the number 15.  Each Hebrew letter represents a number.  “Tet” is the number 9 and “vav” is the number 6.  “Shevat” is one of the Hebrew (Biblical) months.

This holiday is important for calculating the age of trees for tithing.  In Leviticus 19:23-25, we find that the fruit from trees may not be eaten during the first three years.  The fourth year, the fruit is for HaShem.  Beginning with the fifth year, everyone may eat of the fruit.

The tree is considered to have aged one year as of Tu B’Shevat, so even if the tree were planted 2 days before the 15th of Shevat, it would be one year old on Tu B’Shevat.

Today the holiday is marked by eating fruit, particularly those mentioned in the Torah and are associated with Israel:  grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.  It is also considered Arbor Day for Israel and it is traditional to plant trees.  The Jewish National Fund (JNF) widely promotes this.

Perhaps we can focus on the provision of G-d for us, both physically (providing the fruit of the vine and trees) as well as Spiritual (providing the sacrifice of Yeshua on the tree to provide the way of salvation).

Blessings!

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