Today we celebrate Tu B'shvat - the Jewish New Year for Trees. Tu b'Shvat actually means the 15th of the month of Shevat. Shevat appears in the Bible in Zecharaiah (1:7 etc). Not only does the Bible teach us very clearly to respect trees, but it gives very specific guidelines regarding the cutting down of trees during war:
When you lay siege to a city for an extended time while fighting against it to capture it, you must not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. You must not cut them down. Are the trees of the field human, that you should besiege them? Deut 20:19
In the last 80 years the Jewish National Fund planted over 250 Million trees in Israel. Indeed the desert started to bloom when the Jewish People returned.
On Tu B'Shvat we are reminded that we are partners with G-d in taking care of His creation. Torah and Judaism delves deep into the principles of how G-d views nature and what He expects from us.
WATCH the video below, and learn more about the new year for trees but also the other three Jewish New Years. Happy Tu B'Shvat to all!