On Tu b’Shevat

Today is Tu b’Shevat, the 15thday of the Jewish month of Shevat. It is the Birthday of Trees.

Yes, I know, Spring has not yet officially arrived. In some parts of the world, snow and ice remain, or will return. But in Israel, the sap is likely flowing—or will be quite soon.

In ancient times, Tu biShevat was a way of marking the age of a tree in order to harvest fruit appropriately. You might even say that Tu b’Shevat ensured care for trees just as trees provide sustenance for humans.

**Our Jewish ancestors teach us so much, don’t they?

And so do trees themselves :


When the wind rustles the sapling’s leaves,

Does it doubt its own strength?

And after winter has immobilized its life-force,

Does it question its existence?

Flexibility is a gift,

Whether of mind or body;

The ability to grow, to change,

Resilience to endure

As the pear tree

Which remembers its blooming

In the midst of frost.

7 thoughts on “On Tu b’Shevat

  1. Oh dear Joan, this is so beautiful. Happy to know about “Tu b’Shevat” I’m a nature lover and I feel so happy on reading about the Happy birthday of trees 🙂 Now, it is 6:25 am here in Trivandrum, Kerala. We are blessed with cool weather this year after two years in mornings. I’m listening to sounds of birds around me and breathing the cool air while reading your blog post from Israel. Thanks to God and internet to connect us from two parts of the world 🙂 Lots of love, hugs and blessings 🙂

  2. So happy to have you here, and I can hear the birds and feel the breeze in your kind remarks, the whisper of trees on their special day…blessings and love to you, my dear Krishna!

  3. What a beautiful piece to read on a freezing cold morning in western Pennsylvania.
    I loved the lines,

    “As the pear tree

    Which remembers its blooming

    In the midst of frost.”

    My thoughts raced down the little hill behind my house, as I read this. There it is, a pear tree that is around 100 years old! It is a WINTER PEAR TREE. We do not harvest the abundant crops it still produces. We leave it alone and the deer come to feed on the pears as they drop onto the ground. Yes, the pear tree remembers…in every season – plans ahead – for an abundant crop next winter.

    I also love reading about Israel – ancient or modern.

    1. oh, Linda, thank you for commenting, for telling of the pear tree, the picture of deer feeding on its fruit as it yet remembers…blessings and love to you!

  4. I just found this piece of glorious writing. Belated Happy Birthday to all Trees! We celebrated the coming of Spring last Sunday. The mustard fields are yellow, the sun glows and it is a tradition to dress in yellow! And to make food offerings in yellow too for the worship and celebration. Loved this poem and learning from you and the trees. Thank you again and again. Much love and hugs

  5. oh, the yellow mustard fields, and everyone in yellow…how glorious! Yellow is my favorite color, and to imagine such brightness flowing through the streets, dotting the landscape…delightful! Blessings to you as Springunfolds its sweetness and promise…as we seek the same in ourselves…love you, dear Krishnapriya!

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