Tu BiSh’vat is a Jewish holiday in the Hebrew month of Sh’vat, which marks the “New Year of the Trees.” Tu BiSh’vat is not mentioned in the Torah. Its source can be found in the writings of our Sages in the Mishnah, in Maseches Rosh HaShanah: “There are four new years: The first of Nisan is the new year for kings and for pilgrim festivals. The first of Elul is the new year for tithing of cattle. The first of Tishrei is the new year for years, for Sh’mitah and Yoveil, for planting and for vegetables. The first of Sh’vat is the new year for trees, according to the ruling of Beis Shamai. Beis Hillel, however, places it on the 15th of that month.” We follow the rulings of Beis Hillel for two main reasons:

  1. Because it is the turning point for fruits and trees. By the 15th of Sh’vat, the rainy season is nearly over, and the fruits begin to ripen: “Henceforth the sap rises and the fruit ripens” (Talmud Bavli, Rosh HaShanah, 14 71).
  2. This date serves as the point in time when rains from the past year no longer accumulate in the earth, and the rain from the following year begins to collect. As it states, “Until now the trees live from the waters of the past year; from now on, they live from the waters of the coming year” (Talmud Yerushalmi, Rosh HaShanah 81 5:2).

Tu BiSh’vat customs include planting trees and eating dried fruits and nuts, especially figs, pomegranates, dates, almonds, and carob. On Tu BiSh’vat, it is also traditional to read from the 15 Psalms of Ascent (Shir HaMaalos) which include Psalms 120-134. These were recited as the Leviim ascended the 15 steps to the Beis HaMikdash. The 15 Psalms also remind us of the date of the festival – the 15 of Sh’vat – Tu BiSh’vat.

May the New Year of The Trees begin a year of growth. May it be a year of renewal for the trees and for us. May our blessings give strength to the trees, may our eyes be opened to the wonders of creation, and may we nurture the world that nurtures us.

List of People Who Need a R’fuah Sh’leimah (a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Yossi Azriel ben Chayah Michal

Aviel ben Ktziyah Batyah

Eliyahu ben Sophia

Mordechai ben Rachel Anba

Nissim ben Devorah

Ezra ben Farida

Yossi ben Vardit

Yaakov ben Mazal

Nissan ben Yael 

Yehoshua ben Miriam 

Eliyahu ben Miriam 

Aharon Mordechai ben Sharon

Moshe ben Rachel

Gavriel ben Imo Shalom 

Marik ben Tamara


Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Esther Hadasah bas Devorah

Alizah bas Miriam

Shoshanah Shurah bas Zina

Luna bas Rachel

Malkah bas Miriam

Malkah bas Reicha Shifrah

Adele bas Adi

Evon bas Sally

Karen bas Rachel

Chavah bas Sarah

Brachah Chanah bas Sarah

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.