Friday, January 17, 2003

Tu Bi'Shvat

A few months ago on the radio, I heard the mother of a severely disabled child telling enthusiastically about the care center her child goes to run by an organization called Aleh. This morning, I was reminded of this in the supermarket, because I was asked to donate to them. The card I got had their website URL on it, so when I got home I had a look. Aleh means leaf.

Tomorrow is Tu Bi'Shvat, Jewish New Year of the Trees, and one of my favorite days of the year, because it’s a nature day and because we eat a lot of fruit, especially dried fruit. In Israel, this is the time when the new leaves begin to develop on the trees, along with the early springtime blossom. It is customary to plant trees on this day and it looks like we’re going to have a lovely weekend for it, although for many it’s falling on Shabbat, this year, means they won’t be planting, at least not on the day itself.

Tu Bi'Shvat reminds us of how nature renews and replenishes itself and that everything is forever being born again, fresh and new. This is a nice thing to remember, in these dark days.

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