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01365--Write a short note on Tu b’Shvat.




In the Mishnah, this day marks the beginning of the fiscal year for purposes of tithing agriculture.  In the 16th century, Jewish mystics imagined God’s beneficence flowing down from the heavens like an upside down tree. With roots in heaven, the mystics draw down the divine energy, or sap, so that it “fructifies” on earth. They developed a seder on Tu b’Shvat with different kinds of fruits to facilitate the drawing down of these divine blessings.  In the early 20th century, the Zionist movement wanted to plant trees in the Land of Israel. Tu b’Shvat became a Jewish Arbor Day, and the Jewish National Fund collected money to plant trees.  Several decades ago, Jewish environmentalists latched on to this day to promote traditional Jewish wisdom on the environment.
[Courtesy : Professor Shai Cherry]

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