On the fifteen day of Shevat, there is a Jewish holiday called Tu B’Shevat. This year Tu B’Shevat falls on Monday, February 9th.
The celebration often involves eating special fruits, especially figs, dates, almonds and carob. As a little girl growing up in New England, I often thought it strange that we celebrated a day for trees in what felt like the middle of a snowy winter to me. But the day is about the agricultural cycle in Israel. It started because the rabbis needed a day to begin counting certain laws such as Orlah, the three years one must wait for planting a fruit tree before enjoying the harvest.
The photo at left, which you can click to enlarge, shows some trees in Jerusalem in front of the Montefiore Windmill. The blue sign says “Heinrich Heine” (Road). Heine was a German poet. I chose the photo for this post because of the variety of trees in the photo. Also, because the photo reminds me of the story I told about my eighty-year-old friend identifying trees in Jerusalem.
In celebration of the upcoming holiday, I decided to post a few of my favorite tree photos.