Monday, February 2, 2015

Tu B'Shevat

I apologize for my blogging absence last week. I was studying for my Bible College course final test last week, which I passed with a 99% grade. The same question tripped me up on this test as a previous test. After this I'm pretty sure I won't miss it again. Also last week was our 45th wedding anniversary and I was a bit busy getting a special dinner ready for my honey!

While attempting to learn more about the land of Israel, I 'll share my findings with my readers. This week the subject will be on Tu B'Shevat. This is the season when the trees begin to bloom and bear fruit. In looking for the Hebrew spelling טו בשבט  (it seems that it is much like the multiple spellings of Hanakkah) I came across the following link. It is worth checking out this interesting article.

And so you ask, what is Tu B'Shevat? Israel celebrates what is called 'New Year for the Trees'. It falls on the 15th of the month of Shvat. This year it corresponds with February 4th on the Gregorian calender. This is the season in Israel when the trees begin to bloom and bear fruit. The following Scripture names the seven species of 'fruit' as special agricultural products of the Land of Israel: wheat, barley, grape, figs, pomegantes, olive and date (honey).
Deuteronomy 8: 6-10 states: Therefore keep the commandments of the Lord your God: walk in His ways and revere Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill, a land of wheat and barley,of vines,figs and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey; a land where you may eat food without stint, where you will lack nothing; a land whose rocks are iron and from whose hills you can mine copper. When you have eaten your fill, give thanks to the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.

While we may not be in the Land of Israel, we are connected with Israel through our obedience to YHVH's Torah. While there are certainly observances in Israel that one may decide not to take part in, it would benefit to know what they are.

To decorate your home for Tu B'Shevat could include anything with trees and fruit. I live in an area of the northeast US and I have always loved trees and particularly pine trees. I have a small collection of counter top pine tress and I'll have to work on the fruit theme, but it's a start. What about you?
My tree collection

A painting of the shagbark hickory tree in my front yard.
 As an afterthought, the Tree of Life theme could be added to the mix.

Chag Sameach!

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