What do wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, honey and/or dates and this month have in common? Two weeks from today is a minor holiday called Tu Bishvat. Tu Bishvat means the 15th (ו + ט) of the Hebrew month of Shevat. A few years ago our family started celebrating Tu Bishvat, and it has been a unique and fun time for the family to remember the provision of Hashem in our lives, as well as to do something for Him in a practical way.
So, you don’t understand Tu Bishvat and are not sure why you should celebrate it? First Fruits of Zion has just released two new resources to help believers both understand and celebrate this yearly event in a meaningful way, fully centered on Messiah Yeshua.
Since the second Temple, Tu Bishvat is a day that has been designated to demarcate time in regard to how the tithe from the produce of trees was given (I won’t go into the details now, but it is an interesting study). Since the destruction of the Holy Temple, this date has lost much of its significance. However, during the Middle Ages there was a resurgence which made the celebration of Tu Bishvat once again significant and meaningful. Once again, this date is being restored, but to believers.
PLANT, FFOZ’s first booklet, is designed to help you learn:
- that the fifteenth of Shevat (Tu Bishvat) was recognized in Temple times as an important day in Temple worship
- that Yeshua was aware of this day, and perhaps even taught about it
- the evolving history of its observance post-Temple
- activities and ideas about how to celebrate Tu Bishvat
- stories and encouraging testimonies from believers in the land of Israel about modern observances
BLOOM is a Tu Bishvat Haggadah, similar to a Passover Haggadah, which will walk you through enjoying a Tu Bishvat seder in your home with family and friends. It is the most recent addition to the Vine of David “branch” of FFOZ.
BLOOM is inspired by the story of the early pioneers of the modern State of Israel. This seder reflects upon the dreams of a Jewish national homeland in the Promised Land throughout the centuries and its culmination with Zionism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Bloom is simple and not deeply mystical. It focuses the modern return of the Jewish people to their land as a part of the broader plan of world redemption.
Contemplate our Master Yeshua’s heart of thankfulness for the land and his lament as he perceived its destruction. Share in the vision of the Messianic Jewish luminaries who longed to see that hope restored in the State of Israel, the “beginning of the sprouting of our redemption.”
Since all of the observances related to Temple worship are not currently in effect, modern Tu Bishvat has observances similar to Arbor Day in which trees are planted in Israel, often in memory of a loved one. This year, we have a special goal. We want to send the funds to Israel to plant a sapling in the name of our unborn child we recently lost. Maybe you have a similar situation and would like to remember a loved one. The Jewish National Fund is a great place to accomplish this.
Tu Bishvat for 2011 is Thursday, January 20th
If you’ve never experienced Tu Bishvat, this year can be your first. Don’t delay. Order these resources today so that you will have them in time for your seder. Experience something unique and special with your family while making a difference in the world.