You're Invited to Plant a Tree in the Holy Land!
Tu b’Shevat: The Original Green Holiday
Today everybody is “going green.” In our homes we separate the recycling, use compact fluorescent bulbs, buy produce from local farmers and make sure lights and faucets are securely off. This idea that we have a responsibility to the G-d’s Earth is not a new one. This message was expressed thousands of years ago in ancient Israel. This concept has come to be celebrated every year in January or February during a holiday called Tu b’Shevat – the New Year for trees. This holiday links Biblical tradition with our growing sense of environmental responsibility. It is celebrated by doing one of the greenest things there is: planting a tree.
On Tu b’Shevat our attention is directed towards the Earth, the land of Israel and what we can do for both. Tu b’Shevat is based on Leviticus 19:23-25, “When you come to the land and you plant any tree, you shall treat its fruit as forbidden; for three years it will be forbidden and not eaten. In the fourth year, all of its fruit shall be sanctified to praise the L-RD. In the fifth year, you may eat its fruit.” This was to ensure that the tree was good, healthy and well rooted in the soil before its fruit was harvested for human consumption. What an awesome green idea.
In Genesis 1:26 G-d made us the stewards of His creation, “Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Unfortunately, the creation that G-d gave us is changing before us and mankind is accountable. The waters have become polluted, the air has become dirty and the land has become deforested.
JesusBoat.com is once again teaming up with the Jewish National Fund to help all our friends restore the Land of Israel by having a tree planted in Israel. A tree can be planted in memory of someone who has passed, for future generations to come, to honor a special occasion or as a tribute to the people and land of Israel. Planting a tree in Israel can give everyone a sense of pride knowing they have done a part to be stewards of G-d's creation, making it a little bit stronger, a little healthier and a little bit greener.
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