Tu BiSh’vat is a Jewish holiday in the Hebrew month of Sh’vat that marks the “New Year of the Trees.”  Tu BiSh’vat is not mentioned in the Torah.   Its source can be found in the writings of our Sages in the Mishnah, in Maseches Rosh HaShanah: “There are four new years: The first of Nisan is the new year for kings and for pilgrim festivals; the first of Elul is the new year for tithing of cattle; the first of Tishrei is the new year for years, for sh’mitah and yovel, for planting and for vegetables; the first of Sh’vat is the new year for trees, according to the ruling of Beis Shamai.   Beis Hillel, however, places it on the 15th of that month.”  We follow the rulings of Beis Hillel for two main reasons:

  1. Because it is the turning point for fruits and trees. By the 15th of Sh’vat, the rainy season is nearly over, and the fruit begins to ripen: “Henceforth the sap rises and the fruit ripens” (Bavli, Rosh HaShanah).
  2. This date serves as the point in time when rains from the past year no longer accumulate in the earth, and the rain from the following year begins to collect. As it states, “Until now the trees live from the waters of the past year; from now on they live from the waters of the coming year” (Yerushalmi, Rosh HaShanah).

Tu BiSh’vat customs include planting trees and eating dried fruits and nuts, especially figs, pomegranates, dates, almonds, and carob.   On Tu BiSh’vat, it is also traditional to read from the 15 Psalms of Ascent (Shir HaMaalos), which include Psalms 120-134.   These were recited as the L’viim ascended the 15 steps to the Beis HaMikdash.   The 15 Psalms also remind us of the date of the festival – the 15th of Sh’vat – Tu BiSh’vat.

May the New Year of The Trees begin a year of growth, may it be a year of renewal for the trees and for us, may our blessings give strength to the trees, may our eyes be opened to the wonders of creation, and may we nurture the world that nurtures us.

List of People Who Need a R’fuah Sh’leimah

(a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Yeshayahu Yosef ben Zari

Rachamim ben Sa’eda Mazal

Alter Shmuel ben Chavah Leah

Meir Yaakov ben Esther

Yehudah ben Dinah

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Yosef ben Basya

Yehudah Yudel ben Miriam Gittel

Yisachar Dov ben Chayah Brachah

Refael Aharon ben Devorah

Meshulam David ben Alta Hendel

Moshe ben Chasiya

Rafael Avraham ben Ivonne

Tinok ben Tzivia

Gideon ben Ludmilla

Yishai ben Moriasha Tovah

Yosef ben Miriam

Rafael Moshe Yehudah ben Feiga Necha

Yerachmiel Daniel ben Tovah Basha

Chaim Meir Binyamin ben Chanah Sarah

Pinchas ben Feiga Dinah

Yitzchak Mordechai ben Rose Nizha

Chaim Menachem ben Leah

Yechiel HaLevi ben Rachel

Moshe Shmuel ben Freida

Sariel Yosef Yitzchak ben Bat-Chen

Lev David ben Chanah

Nisan ben Rachel

Yehudah Uriel ben Yafah

Isaac ben Esther

 

Rivkah Fruma bas Leah Baila

Irina Ester Chayah bas Yafah

Yafah bas Basanda

Chayah Sheva bas Sheina Reizel

Hadassah bas Hennah Rivkah

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Hinda Zalma bas Sarah

Esther Hadasah bas Devorah

Sarah bas Ilanah

Rechamah bas Feiga Rivkah

Tinokes bas Efrat Tehilah

Efrat Tehila bas Nina

Chayah Esther Yirat bas Feige Dinah

Tziporah Yeta bas Yehudis

Rachel bas Hinda Reizel

Efrat bas Sonia

Gila Glikel bas Feige

Chayah Rachel bas Yafah

Bilyura bas Shurah Shoshanah

Naomi Leah bas Nena

Sarah bas Chanah

To add names of individuals  who need a r’fuah sh’leimah  to next week’s T’hilim column,  please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.

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