Celebrating Tu B’Shevat 2013

Bare Winter Tree
Bare Winter Tree

Saturday was Tu B’Shevat, a Jewish holiday that resembles the United States Arbor Day.  I wrote more information on it in my previous blog post, Something New, Tu B’Shevat if you are interested.  Things did not go quite as I had planned, so we didn’t get to the store to buy our food for our little feast.  But we made do with what we had.

We took out my camera and each child took photos of trees that they liked.  We had previously talked about what this day meant to the Jewish people so they knew what was going on.

I particularly like this photo because that is the way I like to shoot trees also!
I particularly like this photo because that is the way I like to shoot trees also!

Of course, since we do live in the green and lush state of Washington, it started to rain about a minute after we stepped outside.  I wasn’t willing to get myself or my Nikon wet, so we weren’t outside long.

I did take the time to thank God for such wonderful creations.

Unfortunately, our first Jewish holiday that we try to appreciate wasn’t quite what I had in mind.  That’s ok, though.  We did a little part to observe in a small way.

I leave you today, with the photos of the majestic trees that my children took.  While glancing at these photos, maybe you could tell God how beautiful you think they are.  How grateful you are for trees and the wonderful things they provide.  Maybe you can go out and read under the shade of a tree in your yard.  If you aren’t able to go out to see a tree or two, you can read about them.  Find more information online about how God’s wonderful creation grows and reproduces.  How some of those trees make us food.  It is very interesting!

Oh and I forgot to add that my daughter did eat raisins on Saturday.  Those are made of grapes, which is one of the fruits recognized and eaten on Tu B’Shevat.

 

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Something new, Tu B’Shevat

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This year, in our homeschooling journey, I decided to add in learning about Jewish holidays and festivals.  I found a great website called chabad.org and it explains a lot to me and it even has information for the kids so they can understand at their level.

The first holiday of the year is Tu B’Shevat.  I have been read about this holiday on chabad.org.  I read a great article tonight on the connection between food and Tu B’Shevat.  It’s called Celebrating Pleasure and it was a great read.  What really spoke to me was the comparison made about how a baby nursing stimulates more milk, which is what the baby wants, but it also gives the mother more satisfaction and how that was the same as us drawing closer to God makes us want more of Him and it gives Him more satisfaction.  I suppose as a past-nursing-mother, I can understand the comparison.

The whole article was very moving and insightful.

I also went to the page for kids and read to them “What is Tu B’Shevat?” today.  There is coloring pages, audios to listen to and other articles to read there.  We listened to one audio story today and will listen to more tomorrow.  I also have planned for them to do some kind of art project.  Saturday is actually Tu B’Shevat, so we will celebrate that day with a little festival of our own.

I am still in the process of searching and researching all that has to do with this holiday.  We will definitely be eating some fruit.  I am hoping that I can find myself something to eat that won’t flare up my Oral Allergies Syndrome.  Maybe God will bless my food to my body and not let it give me a reaction.  I will pray for that.  I’d really like to eat an apple and some grapes.  The custom is to eat fruits that come from trees.

Tu B’Shevat is the beginning of the new year of the life cycle of fruit bearing trees.  Well, all trees, really.  But especially the fruit bearing ones are recognized.  I would tend to stick to more Israeli type fruits, such as pomegranates, grapes and maybe olives.  Traditionally, it is those eaten along with figs and dates.  I don’t think that I can get a pomegranate in season now.  The last ones we bought  not too long ago were icky old.  Yuck.

Chabad.org also tells me that this day is a day to reflect on the Bible verse, Deuteronomy 20:19, “…is the tree of the field a man…”.  I read the whole verse, and it all kind of confused me.  I think I’ll go back and read the verse before and after to see what the context is.  I will also read some articles on chabad.org about that verse.  There is a page called, Man and Tree, that have lots of articles that have to do with this verse.  There’s so much to explore on that site!

Hopefully I will remember to take pictures so that I can blog about how neat our party is on Saturday!  I have blogged before about trees, and my love for them, so I am looking forward to this holiday.

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