Did you know....
In the wake of the forest fires last year in Northern Israel, Sinai Temple Religious School raised $650 to purchace trees for Israel. CUJF matched dollar-for-dollar the $650 raised by the Sinai Temple Religious School to buy trees for Israel. The funds were given to the Jewish National Fund's Operation Carmel Renewal.
Tu Bishvat Practices
Tu Bishvat, or the "birthday" of all fruit trees, is a minor festival seemingly tailor-made for today's Jewish environmentalists. In fact, there is an ancient midrash (rabbinic teaching) that states, "When God led Adam around the Garden of Eden, God said, 'Look at My works. See how beautiful they are, how excellent! For your sake I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil or destroy My world--for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you'" (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7.13). Full Tu Bishvat article
Tu Bishvat Traditions
By Rosanne Tolin
Tu Bishvat, the “New Year for the Trees”, has been celebrated for hundreds of years on the 15th of Shevat. On the holiday – January 20 – it’s traditional to eat the fruits of trees like those found in Israel: almonds, dates, figs, raisins, and carob. In fact, it’s considered a mitzvah to eat these sweet, juicy treats and recite the blessings.
One more modern tradition is to plant a tree in Israel by contributing to the Jewish National Fund. Did you know that last month there were disastrous forest fires in the Carmel area (north of the country) that destroyed countless trees? So this year, planting a tree in Israel is more important than ever! Full Tu B'Shevat article.
Want to re-green the Carmel region? Log on to the JNF website at http://www.jnf.org/ to help.
Courtesy of Jewish in St.Louis
Contemporary Environmental Concerns
The Jewish intellectual and spiritual tradition offers uniquely Jewish views of the nature of nature and the role of human beings in the natural world. In practice, however, is there anything Jewish about the way consciousness and regard for the integrity and sustainability of our environment are put into practice by individual Jews and their communities or by the Jewish people?
Jewish thought and traditional rabbinic law do offer us not only general principles (such as the prohibition against wasteful destruction of resources that may be useful to others) but also policy guidelines on specific issues. Contemprary Environmental Concerns
Tu Bishvat Ideas And Beliefs
The name of this festival is actually its date: "Tu" is a pronunciation of the Hebrew letters for the number 15, and it falls in the Hebrew month of Shvat.
Traditionally, Tu Bishvat was not a Jewish festival. Rather, it marked an important date for Jewish farmers in ancient times. The Torah states, "When you enter the land [of Israel] and plant any tree for food, you shall regard its fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden for you, not to be eaten" (Leviticus 19:23). The fruit of the fourth year was to be offered to the priests in the Temple as a gift of gratitude for the bounty of the land, and the fifth-year fruit--and all subsequent fruit--was finally for the farmer. This law, however, raised the question of how farmers were to mark the "birthday" of a tree. The Rabbis therefore established the 15th of the month of Shvat as a general "birthday" for all trees, regardless of when they were actually planted. Tu B'Shevat article