Monday, February 13, 2006

Tu Bishvat - Blooming of the Land.

It's Tu BiShvat today!

Tu BiShvat, the 15th day of the month of "Shvat" is the "new year" for trees -- all sorts of Jewish laws that pertain to the fruits of trees are connected to today.

I'm even eating fresh dates from the Jordan Valley as I type this.

The famous children's song in Hebrew, "Hashkediya Porachat -- The Almond Tree is Blooming, Tu Bishvat is here" never really connected to me as a kid growing up in the United States.

When we built our home in Israel, we planted 2 Almond trees in front of our home. Every year, give or take a few days from Tu Bishvat, the trees bloom a wonderful pink and white burst of color that stops even the most cynical of people.

Its amazing that every year, right on schedule, the Almond trees bloom in tandem with Tu Bishvat.

Almond Tree near the Muqata

Almond Tree Near Shiloh

Almond Tree in the middle of Chawara.

One of my favorite Tu Bishvat songs is based on the writings of Rabi Nachman from Breslev; the song of grass, Shirat Haasavim
רבי נחמן מברסלב היה אומר: דע כי כל רועה ורועה יש לו ניגון מיוחד
לפי העשבים ולפי המקום שהוא רועה שם
כי כל עשב ועשב יש לו שירה
ומשירת העשבים נעשה ניגון של רועה
הלוואי והייתי זוכה לשמוע את כל השירות והתשבחות של העשבים
איך כל עשב ועשב אומר שירה לה' יתברך
בלי תהייה ובלי שום מחשבות זרות
ואינם מצפים לשום גמול
כמה יפה ונאה ששומעים את השירה שלהם
וטוב מאוד ביניהם לעבוד את האלוהים ביראה
תיכף כשאדם מתעורר להשתוקק בארץ ישראל
אזי כפי התעוררותו ותשוקתו
נמשכת עליו האורה מקדושת ארץ ישראל
(ליקוטי שיחות, רבי נחמן מברסלב)

Naomi Shemer played with the words and added music.

For More on Tu Bishvat, with lots of lyrics to songs, see here:

So while all you on the US Eastern Seaboard are trying to get yourselves out of the snow, we're enjoying Tu Bishvat. Save some snow for us...we may get some on Wednesday...and my kids would KILL for it!

Pics from the snow in the US:

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Pragmatician said...

Beautiful tree, do you save the almonds as means for a Shechiyanu?

Jack's Shack said...

No snow here in LA, just sun. Love the pix.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Pragmat: Actually, we don't eat the almonds...we could, but don't. Maybe we'll do that this year.

Jack: Thanks...we may be lucky and get some snow this week. Here's to hoping...

lisoosh said...

Why not eat the almonds?
I always loved how the first rains in Jerusalem always fall in the middle of Succot (my favourite chag) always, without fail. They sure did know what they were doing with that calendar.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Lisoosh: Laziness.

Its been raining less and less on sukkot, as the winter has been starting later over the past 10 years.

Irina Tsukerman said...

Gorgeous trees! I love the flowers... *Sigh*. Well, snow is ALMOST good enough... I hope I can learn to take great pictures, like these! Happy Tu B'Svhat! : )

Regina Clare Jane said...

Yes, those are beautiful trees! One of my favorite Van Gogh paintings is of the almond tree and its blossoms.

Ezzie said...

Great pictures! It's okay, the snow is already getting nasty. :(

In your region, saying your kids would 'kill' for anything might not be a great idea...

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Ezzie; Would it be better if I said my kids would draw cartoons of Mohammed for snow?

Little Wolf said...

Odd how G-D worked that out isn't. Trees blooming on time, etc. Almost like it was planned or someth... Ooops I said to much.

lurker said...

Don't say that Jameel, you'll get 'em arrested.

Anonymous said...

hey! Thoes pics look like they are of my street!!! Cool!!!

Ezzie said...

Oh, I didn't realize you wrote that here, too!

LOL - MUCH better.

Elchonon said...

jameel browses ?? we allways knew you were a lubav!

~ Sarah ~ said...

beautiful trees :)

G Green said...

I have seen those "lyrics", from the Shirat haasavim before and thought they were really beautiful, but never heard song. Do u know where I can hear it?

MC Aryeh said...

Takes so very little for me to miss Eretz Yisrael...I remember eating almonds on a hilltop overlooking Kiryat Shoshana...sigh...would gladly trade in the snow for a view of almond trees in Israel...thanks for the links to "Chabad in snow".

LOL at "Would it be better if I said my kids would draw cartoons of Mohammed for snow?"

bec said...

we celebrated here in new york, sampling too many fruits. but we didn't call it tu bishvat. we called it tu bi'snow.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

G green: I'm looking for an MP3 for you.

Bec: nice! :)

Elchonon: Sorry, I'm faaaaar away from chabad. I've used their services in Albuquerque, Hong Kong, Phoenix...and many other places...but I'm not chabad. I did get a dollar from the rebbe once...but I gave it to tzedakka (horrors!) :)

Sarah: Thanks - I want to take my camera with me to work every day much to capture on "digital film".

G Green said...

Thanks for the mp3 Jameel.
It's ok, but I think I had higher expectations of the song.

Kamagra said...

i would like to be there someday, the landscape is beautiful, i think that this place is amazing, there are a lot of nature and trees with colorful flowers, if you have more pictures, please add it.

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