Tu B'Shevat :The New Year for Trees.
Tu B'Shevat, the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar -- celebrated this year on Monday, February 9, 2009 -- is the day that marks the beginning of a "New Year for Trees." This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.
Legally, the "New Year for Trees" relates to the various tithes that must be separated from produce grown in the Holy Land. These tithes differ from year to year in the seven-year Shemittah cycle; the point at which a budding fruit is considered to belong to the next year of the cycle is the 15th of Shevat.
We mark the day of Tu B'Shevat by eating fruit, particularly from the kinds that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. On this day we remember that "Man is a tree of the field" (Deuteronomy 20:19) and reflect on the lessons we can derive from our botanical analogue.
And on this day, as I medite upon how Man )and Women) are liken to trees, I think about the fruit I am producting, about what the Scriptures say about the "Fruit of the Spirit" which is "Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..."
Are the above seem in my life. Or am I producting bitterness, anger, rage, lazy and selfness in my life? Is the 'fruit of my life' sweet and tasty or sour and bitter?
May on this day I grow more into the sweet fruits of Israel such as dates, figs, grapes and promegranates, nuturing as almonds and walnuts and have enough sugar to turn my lemons into lemon-aide.