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.
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.
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”.
וְשֶׁמֶשׁ פָּז זורחת ,
צִפּוֹרִים מֵרֹאשׁ כֹּל גַּג
מְבַשְּׂרוֹת אֶת בּוֹא החג.
ט”ו בִּשְׁבָט הִגִּיעַ
ט”ו בִּשְׁבָט הִגִּיעַ
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,
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