Tucson J Holiday Resource Guide
Tu Bishvat starts at sundown on Sunday, January 16
Tu Bishvat occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew month, Shevat. Tu Bishvat is the birthday of the trees.
Connection to the Land of Israel
In Israel, Tu Bishvat occurs at the start of spring, as winter begins to fade, and almond trees begin to bloom. The Land of Israel is described as “A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey (Deuteronomy 8:8).” These seven species were the staple foods consumed by the Jewish people in the land of Israel during biblical times. Therefore, we aim to eat some of these foods, typically during a special experience called a seder, on the holiday. A custom of Tu Bishvat is to plant trees in Israel. Since it was founded in 1901, the Jewish National Fund has planted over 240 million trees in Israel.
Connection to Nature
Tu Bishvat is an opportunity to celebrate nature. Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav expressed the importance of taking time to go outside every day. We invite you to spend time outdoors to enjoy the beautiful Tucson winter.
Want to listen to a song to get you into the spirit of the holiday? Listen to Peter Mallet’s “The Garden Song” or the Hebrew song Tu Bishvat Higiya (Hebrew for Tu Bishvat is Coming).
Environmentalism – Protecting Our Environment
The mitzvah (special obligation) of Ba’al Tash’chit teaches that we should not be wasteful or destroy. Tu Bishvat is the perfect holiday to think about how we can practice this mitzvah. What is one thing you can do to not waste?
Caring for Ourselves
Like all living things, we are constantly growing and bettering ourselves. Just as we care for the trees, we also must care for ourselves. Just as we water a garden, we must nourish ourselves. When used as part of our own self-care, gratitude can play a large role in healing, both physically and mentally (Blue Dove Foundation).
Looking for a movie to watch to celebrate Tu Bishvat? Check out The Lorax, Avatar, or Wall-E. What other nature-centered films might you add to this list?
Tu Bishvat ends Monday, January 17 at sunset.
Synagogues in Tucson
Congregation Anshei Israel (Conservative)
Congregation Beit Simcha (Reform)
Beth Shalom Temple Center (Non-denominational)
Congregation Chofetz Chayim (Orthodox)
The Secular Humanist Jewish Circle
Temple Emanu-El (Reform)
Institute for Judaic Services and Study (Saddlebrook)
Congregation M’kor Hayim (Reform)
Congregation Or Chadash (Reform)
Chabad of Sierra Vista (Chabad)
The Shul of Tucson (Orthodox)