The New Year of the Trees

Shalom friends and happy Tu Bishvat! Starting today, at the end of each Blog, I will publish a useful tip on Learning Hebrew. And now let’s learn about Tu Bisvhat…

The New Year of the Trees, Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot, is a special Jewish Holiday known as Tu Bisvhat.

The name of the Holiday, Tu Bishvat, derives from its Hebrew date: the 15th day of the month of Shevat. This year, On February 8, we celebrate Tu Bishvat.

Dried fruits

According to the Mishnah ,Tu Bishvat is one of the four new years in the Jewish calendar. One of Tu Bisvat’s customs is eating dried fruits, especially the ones that are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible: figs, dates and almonds. In ancient times, Tu Bishvat was celebrated with a feast of fruits.

We can also tell that Tu Bishvat arrived by the beautiful blossom of the almond tree.The almond tree is the first fruit tree in Israel to wake from its winter dormancy.

The almond tree is mentioned in the Bible, Jeremiah 1:11-12-

וַיְהִי דְבַר-יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר, מָה-אַתָּה רֹאֶה יִרְמְיָהוּ; וָאֹמַר, מַקֵּל שָׁקֵד אֲנִי רֹאֶה. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי, הֵיטַבְתָּ לִרְאוֹת: כִּי-שֹׁקֵד אֲנִי עַל-דְּבָרִי, לַעֲשֹׂתוֹ

” Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying: ‘Jeremiah, what seest thou?’ And I said: ‘I see a rod of an almond-tree. Then said the LORD unto me: ‘Thou hast well seen; for I watch over My word to perform it”.

Another special custom is planting trees on Tu Bisvhat. This custom is probably derived from the Talmud which states that planting trees is considered to be a way to create eternity.

Planting a tree

Our Sages often compared mankind to trees. If you are travelling in Israel, you can plant a tree by yourself, at any time you want!

A nice Tu Bisvhat song is “Tu Bishvat is Here”.

הַשְּׁקֵדִיָּה פּוֹרַחַת

וְשֶׁמֶשׁ פָּז זורחת ,

צִפּוֹרִים מֵרֹאשׁ כֹּל גַּג

מְבַשְּׂרוֹת אֶת בּוֹא החג.

ט”ו בִּשְׁבָט הִגִּיעַ

חַג לָאִילָנוֹת.

ט”ו בִּשְׁבָט הִגִּיעַ

חַג לָאִילָנוֹת.


Translation: “The almond tree is blooming

A golden sun shines forth

Birds on every rooftop

Announce the arrival of the holiday

Tu Bishvat has come,

A festival”.

Happy Tu Bisvhat – Tu Bisvhat Sameach – ט“ו בשבט שמח !

This week’s Hebrew tip: Study the Hebrew grammar. This is probably the most important part of the language besides the vocabulary. For example: if Hebrew word ends with the sound “im” ,probably it’s a masculine plural noun.

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Main phrases of the Post, Transcription & Translation:

Almond tree – Shkedia שְׁקֵדִיָּה

Blossom – Pricha – פְּרִיחָה

Tree – Etz – עֵץ

Fruit – Pri – פְּרִי

3 Responses to The New Year of the Trees

  1. Ali says:

    1. Bibi has the right to be heard, even oif you do not agree with him2. He is the PM of Isreal, so I guess you can say that he has the right to rneprseet and express the interests of his country3. i am sure that you would want to be heard than to be shouted down and rudely interupted4. J Street and any other left wing Jewish organization can purchase airline, a page in locla newpapers or rent facilities to express their views on the conflict. No one is stiffling your right to free speech.

    • Rah says:

      I jsut downloaded and lastniled your plugin for wordpress, thanks! Question- how can I use the Latin (gregorian) characters to display instead of the hebrew? what do I need to change int he code? Thanks!Matt

  2. Sarmad says:

    Aw, this was a truly quality artilce. In theory I’d like to write like this too taking time and real effort to make a excellent post but what can I say I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.

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