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
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: http://www.col.org.il/show_news.asp?17563
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael