Tu B’Shevat: My Trees, Your Trees, and Our Trees.

There are so many Jewish holidays I can’t keep up with.  Tu B’Shevat was just this past weekend.  I spent my Friday evening at the United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong.

According to Chabad.org, Tu B’Shevat (I feel like I have to learn Hebrew just to keep up with my Intro to Judaism course), “…is the day that marks the beginning of a “new year” for trees.”  I ate a lot of fruit Friday night, met a great Jewish family who spent 11 years in Japan, of course fluent in Japanese.  The actual Shabbat dinner was a vegetarian potluck.  I brought two Middle Eastern veggie dishes.  On Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish tradition is to eat fruit, Holy Fruit called out in the Torah. Such as figs, grapes, olives, and dates, those that grow in abundance in Israel.

For me, a Chinese, looking on at Tu B’Shevat, I can interpret this as a showering and worship of Mother Nature.*  We owe our food to the abundance of nature and should respect it.  Perfect, I already see a few similarities with Shintoism of Japan.  :)

How did you celebrate this year? Do you celebrate this minor Jewish holiday?

*I am not trying to offend any religion or religious beliefs, only am making a personal interpretation given my Chinese-American background.

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