Three Ways to Celebrate Tu B’Shevat This Winter


Rabbi Samantha Natov   January 24, 2018

Three Ways to Celebrate Tu B’Shevat This Winter

Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish Arbor Day, begins the evening of Tuesday, January 30. The holiday that celebrates trees, Tu B’Shevat is especially vibrant in Israel, where it falls in the spring, when the sap starts to flow in the trees and regrowth is all around. 

Here in New York City, in the middle of winter, it can seem harder to relate to Tu B’Shevat. Here are three small ways to bring it closer by reconnecting with the natural world:

  1. Plant something indoors, such as a small seed pack of an herb. Or root an avocado seed by putting it in a cup of water and letting it grow into a houseplant.
  2. Enjoy a new fruit or vegetable.
  3. Make a terrarium, a miniature garden grown inside a covered glass or plastic container.

Many of us walk outside and are eager to identify new buds on trees. While it’s a little too early to see them, the early anticipation of spring brings optimism and the anticipation of rebirth. In a sense, Tu B’Shevat offers inspiration similar to the lights of Hanukkah. During the darkest time of the year, we cultivate light and a sense of hope. In the dead of winter our focus suddenly turns to regrowth and renewal. We are reminded that even when we can’t see it, regeneration is beginning.