Tu B'shvat is a special holiday in Israel - the birthday of the trees! Until 2 years ago, I had barely heard of this magnificent holiday. As a Messianic Jew, I wanted to learn more as soon as I heard about it.
If you have ever been to a Passover Seder you know the holiness and joy that surrounds a special meal dedicated to worship and remembrance. When I began learning about Tu B'shvat, I was so excited to see a seder is the primary part of this sweet celebration.
What is Tu B'shvat?
Tu B'shvat is the original Earth Day! It’s a day when Jewish people celebrate the coming of Spring. On the 15th (Tu) of Shvat Spring has begun in Israel. The rainy season is ending and the blossoms are blooming on the almond trees. It is a time of hope and renewal. It is often referred to as the “New Year of the Trees” or even the “Birthday of the Trees”. It is a Rabbinical holiday and not commanded in scripture, but it is obviously scriptural as it honors God’s word and commands to give of the fruits of the trees as an offering as well as to care for His creation.
As a mama of little boys steeped in their natural mountain habitat, my heart soared at the invitation to celebrated this agricultural holiday with my sisters and brothers in Israel.
Tu B'shvat Traditions
A seder meal is a Tu B'shvat must. It can be as simple or as special as you like. Typically, the meal includes the 7 species of Israel in some manner as well as fruit of the vine (grape juice) and a fruit you will taste for the first time that season.
Many Jewish families plant trees in Israel on this day. It is a time of planting and enjoying the blessing of Spring soon coming. Furthermore, many plant parsley (even indoors) and use the parsley they grew during their Pesach (Passover) Seder.
God's word is a "tree of life" to us and we are grafted into the vine. These beautiful references to creation are woven all throughout scripture! What a neat way to share God's design and our call to be wise stewards of creation, with our children. Tu B'shvat is like an Earth Day God established for us!
Tu B'shvat Scriptures
It would be a fun activity to do with children 10 and up, to have each member of the family find as many references to trees in the Word as possible. You could read them aloud and discuss.
Celebrating Tu B'shvat for Messianic Believers
If you have a Jewish heritage and believe Jesus is Messiah, Tu B'shvat is for you! If you are a Christian and love God's word, Tu B'shvat is for you! We are part of the spiritual heritage and lineage of Abraham when we devote ourselves to being followers of Yeshua.
If you decide to celebrate Tu B'shvat, I hope you will check out our Rooted Guide for families. Inside, we have included picture books, recipes, a seder guide and haggadah, and so much more! It is easy to follow and gives you all the history, bible verse, and step by step instructions for celebrating for the first time, or the 10th with your family.