The Birthday of the Trees!
Jewish Earth Day – Tu B’Shvat (literally, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat) is the New Year of the Trees or the Birthday of the Trees. Tu B’Shvat, a sort of ancient Jewish “Earth Day,” reminds us that caring for the earth is a central tenet of Jewish tradition. It is a minor holiday with roots that extend back 2,000 years in Israel when, for tax purposes, it marked the fiscal new year for fruit trees; it later evolved into a celebration of fruit and fruit trees.
Tu B’Shvat has become a day to renew our commitments to the land, an opportunity to take on a new responsibility of environmental awareness and make Jewish values a part of our everyday lives through actions lik:
- Picking up trash in our community
- Combining errands to save on gas and walking or riding a bike when possible
- Turning off lights and appliances that aren’t in use
- Using environmentally friendly materials
Seder – Think a seder is only for Passover? It is a word that means “order” and there is a customary order as part of a Tu B’Shvat celebration. For some examples of what is included and how to do your own Tu B’Shvat seder, we like reformjudaism.org/have-tu-bishvat-seder.
Still Have Questions?
For more information about Tu B’Shvat, jHUB and interfaith programs or Jewish culture, contact us at jHUB@jecc.org or call us at 216-371-0446.