Something that's happening over here this weekend is the Tu B'Shvat holiday.
Lets learn a little about it!
Basically today, it is a day centered around trees. Many go out to be in nature and to even plant a tree. When they do – they are encouraged to check in with it periodically and watch it grow.
So the cry in the media is to “Go out and plant a tree”. But the nice thing I have noticed this year is that there is a push to get people not to do their planting in a forest, but rather in a place close to their home.
I suppose the message there is to make it close to their heart. Because if you start something, you should see it through, and perhaps the need to water it and cultivate it will help make the point of watching it grow.
But there has also been a push this year to emphasize the environments' welfare in general – and that's a good thing!
Now the holiday doesn't have any stated Biblical tie, but in the Mishna, which was written in the 3rd century AD, the emphasis is on agriculture.
Back in those days it was tied to the religiously legal (Halakhic) law, as they would judge the age of trees and whether or not it was old enough to bare fruit to be given as offerings to God by giving it to the priests. This was away of keeping the memory of the Temple order alive in the memory of those living to their traditions from the past.
But of course even before this, the Jewish people were dispersed all over the place, and Tu B'Shvat became a holiday symbolizing the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.
Middle East Correspondent