Tu Bishvat (the 15th day of the month Shvat) is a New Year of Trees. It is a special festival which is not included in either the Torah or Tanach.
The meaning of Tu BiShvat refers to the first day of fruit-bearing trees separating tithes calculation according to the commandments of the Torah. Celebrating New Year of Trees, we pay attention not only to the exact meaning of this date but also to the things that a man and a tree have in common. This festival goes after Hanukkah and before Purim, which we is not a coincidence.
According to what is written in the Torah about fruit-bearing trees, we can confidently consider a man as a young plant that God has planted in His garden. We have been extracted from the soil of this world and planted in Him in the heavenly realms by the sacrifice of the Messiah. And, as a gardener takes care of his tree and controls its growth, nutrition and trimming, so that the tree would not get sick and would bear good fruit, in the same way God works for our fruit to be multiplied and improved. But in this process, there is something that depends on our desire: we need to take root in the garden of the Lord and our way of complying with His fertilizing and trimming to make our fruit as He wants to accept it and not as we imagine it should be.
A tree is known by its fruit. “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:17,18, NVI). The fruit shows the condition of our roots. When we look at our fruit, we realize from where do we eat and whether we are moving in the right direction. It is better for us to fully agree with God about the place He has replanted us. Our roots are in the Heavenly Jerusalem; in the unshakable Kingdom.The more we become firmly established, the deeper we take root in Heaven and the less external factors of this world impact our life. On the contrary, if we consider them to be good and stick to the knowledge of God, these circumstances will help us to take root in Him. We should not be distracted by things that this world is keen on or anxious about or how it is searching for human truth. It is important not to lose sight of the work which we were replaced for so that our fruit would become a glorification of God.
Tu BiShvat falls in winter, a unique season for vital functions in trees. Though as it mentioned above, during winter, the tree root system deepens and strengthens. A trunk becomes stronger and tree rings grow but at the same time it seems that a tree is in dormant. What actually happens is that the organism awakes by working on the upcoming crop. Why is this comparison important to us? What can we gain from this for building up faith? Periods of seeming downtime are not a time to relax and enjoy your fame, but rather, a good opportunity to analyze the fruit of the last season and prepare for the next one.
Tu BiShvat is a linking element between Hanukkah and Purim. It extends the message of Hanukkah while preparing us for Purim. Hanukkah’s victory reminds us how the priests managed to involve the entire nation into the work of God that eventually ended with the dedication of the temple and re-establishing of the sacrifice.
The upcoming Feast of Purim is not simply a festival that was fulfilled only once. It tells us again and again that we are to take root in God and have to be separated for His work, always to have victory in Him and do not let the enemy distract and disarm us.
The freedom of the place into which we were replanted from the place where we were born by flesh has to be understood, realized, and evaluated by us, for we have to bear fruit for the Kingdom out of it.
“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor”.
(Isaiah 61:3, NIV)
*The material of “Heula”, KJMC