January 21, 2019
Eytz cha’yim hee la’ma’cha’zee’kim bah, v’tom’cheh’ha meh’uh’shar.
It’s the tree of life to them that hold fast to it and all of its supporters are praiseworthy. (Proverbs 3:18)
Tu B’Shevat is a rabbinical, not biblical holiday. In fact, it is first referred to in the Mishna (Rosh Hashana 2a), where it is called the New Year for trees. Nevertheless, Tu B’Shevat is an important holiday on the Jewish calendar. While there are no additional prayers during the day’s services, and there are no special “requirements” for Tu B’Shevat, there is a widespread custom to eat of the 7 special foods by which G-d and the Torah praised the land of Israel. Some Jews even get together to eat a special meal on Tu B’Shevat. This meal is sometimes called a Tu B’Shevat Seder (like the Passover Seder).