Tu B’Shevat: Trees and Personal Growth


Dear Rabbi, please tell me about the “tree holiday” that is coming up. All I know about it is that before this holiday people in Israel would collect donations for planting trees there. Thanks!



  1. “I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.
    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.”
    Joyce Kilmer, “Trees”

    The poet sees the work of God in a tree. But why a tree? Why not a mountain, a river or a zebra?

    Tu B’Shevat, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat (January 17th, 2022, which actually begins the previous evening), is the “New Year’s Day” for trees. Why do trees need a New Year? Do they make resolutions?

    Judaism teaches that although now it may look like the dead of winter, it is not. Deep inside the tree the sap is beginning to rise. Spring approaches, rebirth has begun. And we are taught that just as this is so for a tree, so too it is for man, since “man is a tree of the field” (Deut. 20:19). The “renaissance,” the process of rejuvenation in man has begun.

    Happy New Year to the “Trees”! And just as important, if not more so, is that it will be a “Happy New Year to Mankind” as well!

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team