FOUR JEWISH NEW YEARS?
A Taste of Torah
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following was sent to me by Elliott Magalnick, a student of the Melton School sponsored by the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education. I thought it was interesting enough to share with you.
We just celebrated the Gregorian New Year on January 1, but there’s another New Year right around the corner — and it’s one of four Jewish new years. We think mainly about Rosh HaShanah as the Jewish New Year, but there are three others that coordinate with harvest times. This month, January 25-26 marks Tu B’Shevat, the “new year for trees.” According to the Torah, fruits cannot be consumed from trees less than three years old (this is where the Upsherin celebration comes from), so Tu B’Shevat was used as the starting date for determining tree ages. In modern times, many view this holiday as a “Jewish Earth Day” and mark the day with a Tu B’Shevat seder.
Here are some fun facts and websites to check out to learn more about new year’s celebrations and Tu B’Shevat.
- Did you know that up until 1752 England observed March 25 as New Year’s Day?
- If you’re wondering how to mark the day with your children, PJ Library has some stellar suggestions.
- For more information on the practices and beliefs of Tu B’Shevat, check out My Jewish Learning!
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