By: Kathy Bolano, Communications Intern
Today marks the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat/Tu B’Shevat. Although Tu B’Shevat is not a major Jewish holiday today, it was a very practical one. This particular holiday was used to calculate the agricultural cycle, and thus is sometimes referred to as the new year of the trees.
There are a few customs and observances for this holiday. One such tradition is planting a tree or collecting money to plant trees in Israel. Another custom is to eat from the Seven Species, or shiv’at ha’minim, as part of the Tu B’Shevat seder. The Seven Species are wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates and are important because these were the foods promised to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:8.
In our efforts to promote social cohesion between people of different cultures and faiths, we must start by learning about them. We would like to wish Chag Sameach! to the Jewish community!