January 31st or according to the Jewish Calendar, the 15th day of Shevat, is celebrated as Tu BiShvat or the New Year of the Trees. This holiday has it’s roots (get it trees…roots) in the Book of Leviticus.
“When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden, it must not be eaten. In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God.” – Leviticus 19:23-25
Tu BiShvat marks the “birthday” for trees and allowed the Jews to easily track the age of the trees for tithing purposes.
Today, Jews celebrate this holiday by eating fruit and other plants abundant in Israel such as wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. Some children also collect money to plant trees in the Holy Land.
So Happy Tu BiShvat everyone! Go out and eat an apple and gather faith from this example of tithing, obedience, and gratitude.