Our Embeddedness in the Natural World

Rabbi Bradley Artson
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on February 2, 2023
On a family vacation to Hawaii, I joined my twins, Shira and Jacob, snorkeling by a coral reef. Beautiful coral undulated like ocean flowers, with buzzing bees replaced by fish of astonishing colors and variety. Putting my ears under water, I could hear the clicking of the coral, a sound imperceptible if you don't actively attend for it, but once it becomes the subject of your focus, almost deafening. Read more...

For Whom Do You Plant?

Photo of Rabbi Ben Richards
by Rabbi Ben Richards
posted on January 17, 2022
There’s a terrific story for Tu Bishvat: An older man is planting saplings when he’s encountered by an important individual who asks him why he is planting. Will he live to see the literal fruits of his labors? The reply: “If I’m worthy, I will eat, and if not, my children will.” Read more...

For Every Friend There is a Season - Tu Bishvat Reimagined

Photo of Rabbi Sherre Hirsch
by Rabbi Sherre Hirsch
posted on January 27, 2021
Recently one of my closest friends from college popped up on my Facebook feed. I liked her status, browsed her pictures, sent her a greeting and continued scrolling. But I could not help thinking how weird it was to see someone who was a huge part of my life in my twenties, now relegated to not much more than a Facebook friend.   It made me wonder, were we truly friends? Or was it just convenience, proximity or something else entirely? Read more...

Produce and Potential

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on February 7, 2020
Tu Bishvat (the 15th of the month of Shevat) is first mentioned in early rabbinic tradition, as a “new year” for trees – or more accurately, fruit and nut-bearing trees. In fact, according to the Mishnah, in Rosh haShanah 1:1, trees may have two separate new years. One of these is on the first of Tishrei to mark the age of the tree (that is, no matter what date a tree was planted or replanted, it becomes a year older on the first of Tishrei; this is important because according to Lev. 19:23-25 one may not eat of the fruit of a newly planted tree for four years). Read more...