Tu B’shvat origins are found in scripture:
"When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree...." (Leviticus 19:23–25).
Trees are a provisional gift to humanity from God demonstrating His eternal Goodness.

Celebrate Tu B’Shvat 2014 a Time to Plant

January is the first month of the New Year. It’s the month we all make changes in lifestyle, family, personal appearances… the list could go on and on. Not only is January the start to a refreshing new year for us, but it is also the new year for trees according to Jewish tradition. In Israel, January is usually the month when the first trees awaken from the winter slumber. It is the time period for fruit-bearing trees to start preparing for bloom, and then for harvesting. This year, Tu B’shvat falls on January 16 (the date varies from year to year, like most Jewish holidays).

Tu B’shvat is a Jewish holiday established to commemorate the separation of tithes from the produce that is grown in the land of Israel. Farmers were required to give 10% of their produce for consumption in the temple in Jerusalem. The tithes follow a seven year cycle known as the shemittah, and the tithes usually differ year to year. This is a biblical law revolving around a seven year agricultural cycle concluding with the Sabbatical year. Whatever fruit is produced before the 15th of Shevat (a Hebrew month that falls in the beginning of winter) is counted in the previous year, and any fruit that blossoms afterwards is considered new fruit for the new year. This system was in part because Israel’s rainy season started right after Sukkot and lasted four months to around the 15th of Shevat. Therefore, the soil was fertilized with the rains from the previous year, hence the produce is tithed with those from the previous year as well.

Tu B’shvat is a great time to celebrate and bask in God’s creation of the world, and everything in it – especially the fruit trees. It is a holy day for the trees, and some even say it is the “Rosh Hashanna” (New Year in Hebrew) just for trees! During Tu B’shevat, customs include eating fresh and dried fruit such as grapes, olives, dates and figs… don’t forget to bless them and wish the tree you took them from a Happy New Year! Don’t consume the normal amount you would any day, but take a few more to enjoy throughout the day. The purpose is to enjoy and taste the fruits from the first-bloomed trees because it is a way to express our thanks and praise to God for His creation.

Another major custom, especially in Israel, is to plant trees. Many children, youth and whole families take the day to plant trees along roads, hills, and in their own back yards. Israel’s desert landscape is full of forests today, partly because of the special efforts to replant the dry land.

As Israelis plants trees, we invite the Lovers of Israel to join us! LoveIsrael.com is a website that provides an opportunity for anyone to participate Tu B’shvat 2014 in the annual planting of trees in the Holy Land. You can do that by ordering an olive tree to be planted in the Galilee. By doing so, you will play a part in the restoration of the land of Israel as well as planting your own roots in the Holy Land. To learn more, please visit Olive Bondolive-bond/

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