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Tu B’Shevat

January 16, 2014

Tu B’Shevat is the Jewish ‘New Year for Trees’. It is one of the four Jewish new years (Rosh Hashanahs).

On Tu B’Shevat Jews often eat fruits associated with the Holy Land, especially the ones mentioned in the Torah.


Tu B’Shevat is a transliteration of ‘the fifteenth of Shevat’, the Hebrew date specified as the new year for trees.

The Torah forbids Jews to eat the fruit of new trees for three years after they are planted. The fourth year’s fruit was to be tithed to the Temple.

Tu B’Shevat was counted as the birthday for all trees for tithing purposes: like the beginning of a fiscal year. It gradually gained religious significance, with a Kabbalistic fruit-eating ceremony (like the Passover seder) being introduced during the 1600s.