Tu B’Shevat: Northern Queensland style
The Cairns Jewish community celebrated the Tu B’Shevat by planting trees for the city’s council.
Tree planting is part of the traditional celebrations of the holiday, and was repeated in hundreds of communities throughout the world.
According to Chabad RARA Rabbi Ari Ruben: “We humans can also celebrate along with the trees. After all, the Torah says ‘Man is a tree of the field’ we are nurtured by our deep roots, as far back as Abraham and Sarah; We reach upwards to the heavens with our feet firmly in the ground; and when we do good deeds we produce fruits to benefit the world – namely, our good deeds.”
Tu B’Shevat is the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat and marks the beginning of a new year for trees and plant life. Customarily, a tree is considered to have aged one year every Tu B’Shevat. The age of trees is important, because Jewish Tradition mandates that fruits grown in Israel cannot be eaten for the first few years of the tree’s life. Often people celebrated Tu B’Shevat by eating a new fruit, planting a tree, or collecting money for trees in Israel.