Reflections on Tu B’Shvat

Tu B’Shvat (15th day of the month of Shevat) – the new year of trees – is a special holiday, which is not found in the Torah or in Tanakh.

The direct meaning of Tu B’Shvat is that this day is the beginning of the harvest of fruit-bearing trees for the separation of tithes from it, according to the commandments of the Torah.

Celebrating the new year of trees, we pay attention not only to the direct meaning of this date, but also to what a person has in common with a tree. In addition, this holiday follows Hanukkah and precedes Purim, which, as we can see upon further examination, is also not accidental. So let’s get started.

Based on what is written in the Torah about fruit trees, we can safely consider the analogy of a person as a seedling that the Lord planted in His garden. By the sacrifice of the Mashiach, we are extracted from the soil of this world and planted into Him in Heaven. And just as a gardener takes care of a tree and monitors its growth, nutrition, pruning it so that the tree will not get sick but bear good fruit, so the Lord works to ensure that our fruits for His Kingdom multiply and improve. But in this process there is something that depends on our desire – how much we want to take root in God’s garden, whether we agree with His feeding, pruning, so that our fruits are what the Lord wants to receive from us, and not like us themselves drew in their imagination.

A Tree Recognized by its Fruits – “So every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree bear good fruit ”(Matt. 7: 17,18).

Fruit is an indicator of where our roots are. When we consider our fruits, it becomes clear where we are feeding from and whether we are moving correctly. We’d better agree with God about where He planted us. Our roots are in Heavenly Jerusalem, the unshakable Kingdom. The more we affirm in this, the deeper we put our roots in heavenly, the less external factors of this world influence our life. On the contrary, if we consider them correctly and adhere to the knowledge of the Lord, these circumstances contribute to our rooting in God. We do not need to be distracted by what this world is passionate about and concerned about or seek human truth. It is very important not to lose sight of the work for which the Lord planted us for, so that our fruits will glorify the Lord.

Tu biShvat falls on the winter – a very special time in the life of the tree. And although this has already been mentioned, I would like to remind once again that it is in winter that the root system deepens and strengthens inside the tree, the trunk becomes stronger, annual rings are added, but at the same time it seems that the tree is in deep dormancy.

In fact, the body of the tree is awake, working for the coming harvest. Why is this analogy important to us? What can we learn from this for the edification of faith? Periods of seeming external calm are not a time to relax and rest on your laurels, but a good opportunity to analyze the fruits of the previous season and prepare yourselves for the next.

Tu Bishvat is the link between Hanukkah and Purim. It seems to continue thinking about Hanukkah and is preparing for Purim. The Hanukkah victory reminds us of how the priests managed to involve all the people in the work of the Lord, which resulted in the cleansing of the Temple and the restoration of sacrifices.

The approaching Purim is not just a holiday that once happened. It tells us again and again that we must be rooted in the Lord and set apart for His work, so that we always have victory in Him and so that the enemy does not distract and disarm us.

The freedom into which we have been transplanted from where we were born according to the flesh should become understandable, realized and appreciated by us, because from it we should bear fruit for the Kingdom.

“… They will be called oaks of righteousness,a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61: 3)

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