Sim Shalom Online Synagogue and Rabbi Steve Blane held a virtual Tu B’Shevat seder in anticipation of the holiday that begins at sundown on Tuesday night, January 30th. And the tree planted by the Blane family in honor of Tu B’Shevat last year is thriving even in post hurricane Florida.
Tu B’Shevat is a little known Jewish holiday whose ancient roots are taking hold in today’s world. Tu B’Shevat is a celebration of trees and by extension the environment. Trees have always held a special place in Judaism. They were one of the first things G-d created and destruction of fruit trees is forbidden in the Torah even in times of war. There is the symbolic Tree of Life that resides in most Jewish houses of worship.
True to form the Jewish Sages anticipated a time when our focus would need to turn to the care and maintenance of Mother Earth. The wisdom of Jewish Sages teaches people of all walks of life to respect and honor the planet and about our responsibility of stewardship to G-d’s creation. Jewish Universalism is a non-denomination- focused Jewish movement that purports that the wisdom of Judaism can inform current issues and problems faced today by all humankind.
In addition Sim Shalom subscribes to the Meatless Monday Campaign which is a global endeavor. One aspect of the initiative is to reduce farming of animals which requires the utilization of intense resources.