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Jan 16, 2008

Shmitta: what to plant on Tu B'Shvat (video)

It is a little early for this post, but I felt like posting now...

Tu B'Shvat is coming. Next week. Next Tuesday to be precise.

I was wondering how Tu B'Shvat would be celebrated this year, due to the "inconvenience" of it being a shmitta year. Tu B'Shvat is the new year for the trees and is generally celebrated by planting new trees. This year that obviously causes a problem, as we are not allowed to plant new trees. So I was wondering what would happen.

I saw this notice on an email list, and it seems to present a nice solution, at leats in the spirit of Tu B'Shvat..:

Join Young Israel's Tu B'Shvat Virtual Tree Planting Campaign

Planting Trees in Israel on Tu B'Shvat During a Shmittah Year? What is one to do???

National Council of Young Israel, Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel, and Yisrael Hatzair – the Young Israel Movement in Israel, are pleased to announce a unique Tu B'Shvat campaign for this special Shmittah year - during which we are prohibited from planting trees in Eretz Yisrael.

Young Israel's Tu B'Shvat Virtual Tree Planting Tzedaka Campaign will collect funds for forests and green areas to be planted in the communities populated by Gush Katif Evacuees – immediately after the Shmittah year.

To "plant" a tree online for $18 USD (NIS 72) go to www.youngisraelrabbis.org.il and click on the "Shmittah" logo (or go directly to https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?
wid=17716 )

Donations are considered tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law in the United States and Israel. USA (501 (c)3) Tax ID #03-0381957 (Young Israel Programs - CYIR). Israel (Article 46) Tax ID#580162691 (Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel).

We are also pleased to announce the compilation of a virtual sourcebook for synagogues and individuals to utilize in their celebrations of Tu B'Shvat. The virtual sourcebook is meant to encourage synagogues and communities in North America and Israel to pay special attention to one of the very important but often overlooked new year's celebrations on the Jewish calendar.

One does not have to be associated with "Young Israel" to benefit from the Virtual Sourcebook. It will be available for download for all – free of charge.

To download the Young Israel Tu B'Shvat Virtual Sourcebook, click the following link: www.youngisraelrabbis.org.il/vsbk.htm

Those who for one reason or another cannot download the sourcebook can order a hard copy for $10 USD (NIS 40 in Israel) by contacting Young Israel: US/Canada: 212.929.1525 ext. 100; Israel: 02.625.4983 ext. 100; email: 15shvat@youngisraelrabbis.org.il <mailto:15shvat%40youngisraelrabbis.org.il>

Tu B'Shvat Sameach from all of us at Young Israel!

Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel

58 King George Street, Suite 109, Jerusalem 94262 ISRAEL

Tel: 02-625-4983 Fax: 02-623-0275

Email: info@youngisraelrabbis.org.il

<mailto:info%40youngisraelrabbis.org.il> Web:


National Council of Young Israel

111 John Street, Suite 450, New York, New York 10038

Tel: 212-929-1525 Fax: 212-727-9526

Email: ncyi@youngisrael.org <mailto:ncyi%40youngisrael.org> Web:


Yisrael Hatzair - The Young Israel Movement in Israel

58 King George Street, Suite 106, Jerusalem 94262 ISRAEL

Tel: 02-623-1361 Fax: 02-623-1363 Email: young-il@zahav.net.il <mailto:young-il%40zahav.net.il>

Sounds like a good solution to me.....

And because I am posting about Tu B'Shvat's imminent arrival already now, I am also going to post some Tu B'Shvat related entertainment...

Here is the classical Tu B'Shvat song:

Tu B'Shvat has also taken on a celebratory atmosphere in general with all sorts of celebrations and parties happening around Israel. Here is a clip from the party-like atmosphere at the shouk og Mahane Yehudah in Jerusalem:

And here is a clip of Tu B'Shvat rap put out by the JNF. These are the guys responsible for planting almost all the trees in Israel...:


  1. Thanks for posting the info abut our virtual tree planting for tu bshvat. just one comment - the link to "buy" a tree is incorrect. The full link is:



    Aaron Tirschwell
    Coucnil of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel


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