Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Can You Dig It?

Dry Bones cartoon: Tu B'Shvat, New Year of the Trees.
Tu B'Shvat is a holiday that comes once a year. In the Hebrew month of Shvat. And it's that time again. Time to get out your shovel and show your faith in the future! time to plant a tree!

Problem is that according to Judaism, every seventh year the Israelites were commanded to let the land relax, to let the earth replenish itself, to do no planting. And it's that Biblical seventh year again in Israel. It's called the "Shmitta" year. So how can you plant a tree on Tu B'Shvat when that conflicts with the Shmitta injunction against planting?

Below is a snapshot of a Tu B'Shvat party in Israel. The merry makers are members of the International Women's Club. Half of the women are Israelis and half are "Internationals" (foreign diplomats, wives of diplomats, visiting businesswomen, etc.). What they are doing in the picture is planting a tree into a large pot. Next year it'll be transplanted into open ground.

Happy Tu B'Shvat!

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